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Some info on Disney's 2010 Miyazaki re-releases


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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Patrick H.

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Posted March 08 2010 - 07:35 PM

As a long-time fan of Miyazaki, I was enthused to see the DVD re-releases by Disney of several of his big titles to accompany the recent release of 'Ponyo'.  I figured these would be straight-up reissues with more supplements added.  Interestingly, though, that's apparently not quite the case.  While Disney has controlled these titles for a while, it wasn't until 'Spirited Away' that Pixar's John Lasseter became personally involved in releasing the English versions of them.  Prior to that, Disney had dubbed and somewhat Americanized both 'Kiki's Delivery Service' and 'Castle in the Sky.'  In addition to Hollywood voice talent, new songs were added to the former, while an entirely redone score (by original composer Joe Hisaishi) was commissioned for the latter. According to reviews (I don't have the discs just yet), it looks like Lasseter and the studio have gone back and meticulously edited down and re-mixed the dub tracks on those two films in order to better conform to the original Japanese.  'Kiki's' original music has been restored at the opening and close, while 'Castle in the Sky's' dub now has the more minimal original score in place.  As for the dialogue, a good deal of added chatter and ad-libbing has been removed.  If this is all accurate, I find it pretty intriguing, but with a couple reservations.  Apparently on 'Kiki', a lot of the pared-down dialogue was Phil Hartman's, and this was his final voice-over role before his death.  And on 'Castle', Hisaishi's alternate score would seem to be a legitimate addition to the film, one which I believe was approved by Miyazaki as well.  So, for both those reasons, completists might want to hold on to their original discs.  It will also be interesting to see how many of these changes make their way onto the eventual Blu-Rays. It should also be noted, though, that apparently the subtitles have been redone for these releases, and 'Castle in the Sky' in particular seems to be more of a dubtitle than the previous Disney release.  (But, on the flipside, the older disc had timing issues with its subs which bothered many.)

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Jay Pennington

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Posted March 09 2010 - 03:48 AM



Originally Posted by Patrick H. 

'Castle in the Sky's' dub now has the more minimal original score in place

I thought the only reason it had been redone in the first place was because they didn't have an isolated track to use as a source in the new English mix. Did they find a source for it since then?



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#3 of 8 OFFLINE   cadavra

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Posted March 09 2010 - 06:12 PM

So for those of us who prefer the Japanese tracks, there's no reason to rebuy these...? Mike S.

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted March 09 2010 - 11:27 PM



Originally Posted by cadavra 

So for those of us who prefer the Japanese tracks, there's no reason to rebuy these...?Mike S.
Improved A/V quality on Kiki and Laputa (which both had lousy transfers made from the original lousy transfers done in Japan for the Ghibli ga Ippai laserdiscs) is enough of a selling point for me. The removal of Sydney Forrest from the former just sweetens the deal.



#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted March 09 2010 - 11:36 PM



Originally Posted by Jay Pennington 




I thought the only reason it had been redone in the first place was because they didn't have an isolated track to use as a source in the new English mix. Did they find a source for it since then?

 
According to Helen McCarthy's book "Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation", the new dub music was added because the original soundtrack did not conform to standards put in place for modern American film projection. You apparantly need to have 60 minutes of musical score and Laputa only has 35. When Disney was planning on giving Laputa a theatrical run in 1999, they ran into some trouble over this hence the rescore. Of course that theatrical release never panned out so they've gone back to the old synthesizer soundtrack for better or worse.

As for the SFX (which are all still in the 1999 version but burried heavily in the mix), I assume its because the dialogue and SFX tracks were done in mono (Seriously! Try playing your old dvd's Japanese track with Pro-logic on. Only the music comes out of left, right and surround) and are of somewhat substandard quality.



#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Bryan Tuck

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Posted March 10 2010 - 09:20 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by Lord Dalek

According to Helen McCarthy's book "Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation", the new dub music was added because the original soundtrack did not conform to standards put in place for modern American film projection. You apparantly need to have 60 minutes of musical score and Laputa only has 35. When Disney was planning on giving Laputa a theatrical run in 1999, they ran into some trouble over this hence the rescore. Of course that theatrical release never panned out so they've gone back to the old synthesizer soundtrack for better or worse.
I haven't read that book, so I can't dispute what it apparently said, but that really doesn't make any sense at all.  What does the amount of score in a film have to do with projection standards?

I had always thought that Hisaishi himself wanted to try a more expansive orchestral arrangement of his score, and that he participated in the new recording.

At any rate, this is interesting news.  Thanks Patrick!


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#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Chuck Pennington

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Posted March 11 2010 - 01:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Dalek ">

Improved A/V quality on Kiki and Laputa (which both had lousy transfers made from the original lousy transfers done in Japan for the Ghibli ga Ippai laserdiscs) is enough of a selling point for me. The removal of Sydney Forrest from the former just sweetens the deal.
 

Really? I doubt the original anamorphic DVD's were made from transfers used for Laserdisc.

Here are screen captures from the Ultimate Disney website comparing the two releases of KIKI. Aside from a modicum of information added to the sides, do YOU see any significant difference? Do these looks like transfers made for 90's era Laserdiscs? They sure look a lot alike to me.

2003 DVD
[img]http://www.ultimatedisney.com/images/h-k/kikis-06-lg.jpg


#8 of 8 Guest__*

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Posted March 12 2010 - 10:33 PM

does anyone know if Disney has the rights to Little Norse Prince? The US DVD is NTSC-PAL, and the Japanese dvd is very expensive and has no subs





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