flummery: (sootball)
(mild spoilers below!)

Studio Ghibli/Disney are finally getting around to releasing, and in two cases, re-releasing, some of Miyazaki's movies this summer! Slated for August 31st (according to nausicaa.net) are My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, and Porco Rosso. All three are coming out as 2-dvd sets, which hopefully means extras, and that they really spent the time to do these right.

Totoro has been out on dvd in the U.S. for some time, but in crappy quality. Pan and scan, rather than wide screen, poor video and poor audio quality, and no extras. The new version will also have new voice actors. It has the youngest intended audience of the three movies being released, and yet somehow, I have no problem sitting down and watching it over and over (and forcing others around me to as well).

Nausicaa came out in the 80s, and was released in the U.S. at that time under the title Warriors of the Wind. The US version was basically butchered. You should not watch it. A half hour of the movie was cut out. Talking and explanations were cut, and actiony stuff was left in. Names were changed to cutesy cartoon names. Studio Ghibli has asked that you forget it exists. I watched this, as a result, off a very crummy tape version of the Japanese release, and I can't remember whether or not it was subtitled, or whether [livejournal.com profile] teenygozer actually just sat there translating for us, which is a very real possibility (she knows the movie line by line, and is a useful source of older anime info). It's set in a post-apocalyptic future, where a small village is under threat both from warring surrounding nations, and from the encroaching changes the apocalypse has brought to the environment.

The third out this summer is Porco Rosso, and I'm impressed. We watched this last summer off the *cough*hongkongboxset*cough* and at the time, I think I actually said "Wow. Disney is *never* going to bother to bring this out in America." It's set between WWI and WWII, and is the story of an Italian WWI pilot who survived when his friends were all killed. But then, he was turned into a pig. (Yes, that's right, just go with it, everyone else does.) It's set to a strange background of sky pirates and mobsters and fascist governments and good engineers. Miyazaki's love of flying is all through it, and it starts with a hysterical scene with many small children at the beginning -- but this one is not for children. The language is adult, the themes are complex. At the end, there's one of the best fight scenes ever, animated or otherwise. I'm not sure I completely understood this movie, but I liked it anyway.

September 2015

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