Miyazaki's 'Spirited Away' picked up by Pathe!

Hayao Miyazaki's latest feature length film, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, or Spirited Away as it is known in the west, has reportedly been picked up for Theatrical Release here in the UK by Pathe! This news comes from a report on the Berlinale Film Festival at ScreenDaily.com where they also report news on other countries who have secured the rights to this record breaking film that was long feared would end up in the not-so-capable hands of Disney.

What are not yet known are the details of the agreement, and more importantly whether they include the films original language rights (although this is Pathe so odds are the deal does and it will see a proper subtitled release) and even more importantly the DVD rights.

Spirited Away is a film about Chihiro, a 10-year-old girl in the midst of a move to the suburbs with her parents, who wanders into a mysterious town. It's the "other world" of gods and monsters, ruled over by a witch. There, humans are changed into animals and disappear. Chihiro, who has a listless disposition, must start working at a huge bath house to survive. Can she return to her own world?

Synopsis courtesy of Nausicaa.net

Released on 336 screens across Japan on the 20th July Spirited Away smashed the original 4-day opening record (which was held by Miyazaki's previous hit, Princess Mononoke) by some 83% with its $15.8million takings only to go on to earn over $200million in just 14weeks, and to eventually surpass the record-holder, Titanic, late last year by taking $215million. While the figures may not initially sound too impressive in comparison to what US films tend to take, just consider that US releases tend to be spread over some 2000 screens, where-as in Japan a figure in the 300 screens range is the norm...

In further news two separate Japanese sites are listing an R2 Japanese DVD release of Spirited Away, presumably as part of the current Studio Ghibli collection releases, for sometime in June. The D-Files have it down for a June 5th release with the standard Ghibli Collection RRP of Y4700 listed, while DVDCatalogue suggests a 19th June release. Either way, June would be nice (as long as English subtitles are part of the package)!

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