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DVD Review HTF REVIEW: "Kiki's Delivery Service" (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) (with screenshots) (1 Viewer)

Kong Chang

Screenwriter
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Dec 17, 1998
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1,632
The only problem with Kiki's dub from Disney is that it was based on an existing dub script (Streamline) which Disney thought was a literal translation script. So it got "redubbed" off of a "dub" script and not "dubbed" from a "translation" script. Disney found out about it too late and is not willing to change it. So the redub script that Disney made is not even close to the Japanese script at all. And so things are lost in the dub. However, I hope they went back and redid a "re-translation" and not use the dubtitles as subtitles (from Streamline Pictures) this time around like they did with the LD and VHS.
 

BobJ

Stunt Coordinator
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May 6, 2002
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178
Porco Rosso is one of my favorite Miyazaki films. The R2 version is an absolutely beautiful transfer. The subs are very well done and is worth the money just for the flying scenes alone. :)
 

Darcy Hunter

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May 11, 1999
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192
I bought this as a blind purchase based on the reviews I've read here and other places, plus the fact that I absolutely adore both Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. What a fantastic film! If you went just by the cover image, you would think that this is some movie aimed straight at adolescent girls, or an animated version of Sabreena the Teenage Witch. Once I started watching it, I was completely captivated by both the great story which always kept me guessing where it was going to go next, and the gorgeous animation with those wonderful background paintings.

I have to add one thing though, and I don't really want to get into the whole dub vs. original language debate, but I will say that this film does benefit from watching it in it's original Japanese. For one thing, your not subjected to those horrendous English pop songs on the soundtrack, (the Japanese ones have a more "timeless" quality), and Phil Hartman just isn't right as the voice of Jiji. It seems the producers of the English dub wanted a more "hip" angle to the cat. It just doesn't work.

One more thing about the English dub on this release, watch the opening and closing credit sequences in both English and Japanese. The English version is of substantially lower quality then the Japanese one. The colors seem faded, the picture is very soft, and the framing is cramped. It's like they took a pan and scan version and cropped it to a 1.78:1 ratio.
 

JohnnyHK

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
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105
Just watched the first half of this movie with my 6 year old daughter. What a charming movie...and my daughter loves it. I just wanted to comment on the quality of the transfer, though. While the colors are wonderful, I did see a lot of ringing/edge enhancement in the transfer on my 64" Pioneer. Anyone else notice this?
 

Thomas Newton

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Jun 16, 1999
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Thomas Newton
watch the opening and closing credit sequences in both English and Japanese. The English version is of substantially lower quality then the Japanese one. The colors seem faded, the picture is very soft, and the framing is cramped.
Why would the picture quality change just because you switched audio tracks? As much space as video requires, surely they wouldn't include a complete copy of the movie for each audio track.

Are you perhaps referring to different releases of the movie, from different regions?
 

Darcy Hunter

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 11, 1999
Messages
192
Why would the picture quality change just because you switched audio tracks? As much space as video requires, surely they wouldn't include a complete copy of the movie for each audio track.
Kiki's Delivery Service uses seamless branching for the opening and closing credits. When you select Japanese from the set up, it plays the credit sequences with their original text. This is why you can not change languages on the fly. The credits for the English version use what looks like an old battered print compared to the beautiful Japanese one. Just give it a try and see for yourself.
 

Michael St. Clair

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May 3, 1999
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Alternate angles, not seamless branching, are typically used for the credits on these discs. Of course, the alternate angle multiplexed stream is only in use during the credits.
 

Rob Lutter

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Nov 3, 2000
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I own a lot of anime DVDs... this one has one of THE BEST images I have seen. I did not notice any ringing... it's just colorful and SHARP. I can't wait to check this badboy out on my parent's 53" Pioneer Elite after finals next week :D

(FYI, I am watching on a HTPC)
 

dpippel

Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems
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On my ISF calibrated 57" Hitachi I noticed LOTS of edge enhancement/MPEG noise on Kiki's Delivery Service. Just about every hard edge in the film is ringing like a bell. There are also several portions of the movie that go off into alternate angle land when watching with the English 5.1 dub audio track, not just the credit sequences. The degradation of image quality is jarring and readily apparent. I watched this and Spirited Away yesterday. In comparison the transfer on Spirited is astonishingly clean, vibrant and film-like.
 

Bleddyn Williams

Supporting Actor
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Jun 30, 1997
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Bleddyn Williams
On my ISF calibrated 57" Hitachi I noticed LOTS of edge enhancement/MPEG noise on Kiki's Delivery Service. Just about every hard edge in the film is ringing like a bell.
I have a 53" ISF calibrated Pioneer. While Spirited Away is beautiful and clean, both the other Ghibli titles released have heavy ringing on my set too. I'm surprised that more people haven't commented on this.
 

Edwin-S

Senior HTF Member
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Aug 20, 2000
Messages
9,427
I noticed some bad edge enhancement on Laputa:Castle in The Sky. I haven't been able to watch Kiki's Delivery Service yet. I wish the transfer of Laputa had been better, but I am just glad that it finally made it onto R1 DVD at all.
 

Aaron Cohen

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 25, 2002
Messages
468
Well why the heck don't they just cut it out with the edge enhancement? It just doesn't make any sense why they don't just stop.
 

Rob Lutter

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Nov 3, 2000
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Well why the heck don't they just cut it out with the edge enhancement? It just doesn't make any sense why they don't just stop.
Because of the majority of the people watching DVD that use a 19" Orbitron set w/ an RF converter...
...it creates the illusion of a sharper picture.
 

Steve Y

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 1, 2000
Messages
951
It's hard to win either way. When companies don't use edge enhancement, there are many complaints about the 'softness' of the picture. Thankfully i have a tiny 27" TV (haha), so the ringing isn't as pronounced on Kiki.

KDS was wonderful in Japanese. It's an altogether different movie in English, however (worse, IMO)... doing english dubs is a difficult business, to be sure, and it's especially hard to find child actors with the skill to pull off a performance that's not overly wooden... that said, unless you stick to the2 original vision, things can go very wrong. Too much 'jokey' improvisation, for example (it's amazing how P.Hartman [may he rest in peace] completely altered the character he voiced)...

For those wanting to purchase Kiki I wouldn't dissuade them, but keep in mind the other thread on the Kiki soundtrack where it has been tentatively established that the audio is anywhere from a split-second to several seconds out of synch with the video.

~Steve
 

Aaron Cohen

Second Unit
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Jul 25, 2002
Messages
468
Wait what? I couldn't find another thread on Kiki's....which track is out of sync? The English dubbed or original Japanese language track?????
 

Jeff Kleist

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
11,267
All tracks have sound FX sync issues, the dub track apparently suffers voice sync as well which didn't show up in my spot check, it's not happening on all players
 

kevin_y

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 20, 2003
Messages
113
Has anyone compared the video quality of the Region 1 Miyazaki DVDs against those from Japan (R2) and Hong Kong (R3)?

I know R2 and R3 versions of Spirited Away have a reddish picture and the R1 version doesn't. But I'm not sure if there are any differences for Kiki and Castle.
 

Jeff Ulmer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 23, 1998
Messages
5,582
I would have to respectfully disagree about the image quality on this disc (I have only seen the Canadian version so far). This is perhaps the worst compression job I have ever seen on an animated title. There is mosquito noise in almost every frame, and areas with lots of movement are a mess. The backgrounds look great, but any character has an unnatural, undefined outline around them. By contrast the trailers, while lacking in the saturation department, do not exhibit this effect, which also shows up on the Laputa disc (haven't watch SA yet).
 

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