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Family Viewing At Its Best!
on June 22, 2003
If you've been living anywhere but under a rock for the last few years, you already know what all the hubbub is about regarding these 3 outstanding animated features. Hayao Miyazaki, The Grand Master of Animation, has brought these stories to life in a manner more realistic than most live action movies can even think of doing.
Having seen these movies in Japan during their theatrical or original video releases, I was overjoyed at their release on DVD. And Disney has brought them to the American public with true style...dubbed English and the original Japanese language tracks, subtitles, and outstanding special features. For the purists out there, the English language track follows the original Japanese exactly, with the exception of a few lines that had to be slightly modified in English to help the viewer absorb cultural concepts that were simply "understood" in the original Japanese. And the voice dubbing is perfect, capturing every single nuance of every emotion that was intended to come across in the stories. The animation is, by far, the most realistic and thought provoking you will ever see, with textures that literally come alive with detail. As a side note, it is unfortunate that a fourth Miyazaki feature, "My Neighbor Totoro", did not receive the same respectful treatment from Fox, when they purchased the rights to that film, and effectively butchered it for the American DVD release.
Although appearing to rely heavily on the widely publicized popularity of the most recent film of the three, Spirited Away (The highest grossing FILM of all time in Japan, and the Academy Award winner for 2002's Best Animated Feature), as the key link of its sales strategy, all of these features are equally imaginative in concept and exquisite in execution. And the price is excellent...the Japanese paid between $45 and $55 a pop for each one of these when they were released on DVD in their home country.
This 3 pack of classics can be summed up very simply...The Japanese loved them. I loved them. My family loved them. You'll love them too.