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Princess Mononoke Blu-Ray "dubtitl"e screwup... (1 Viewer)

Carlo Medina

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Ugh, I was so excited to get my three Miyazaki films this week, they arrived from Amazon today. I just read this on The Bits' review of Princess Mononoke:
Back when the original DVD was announced, a good many of us “purists” cried to high heaven and begged Disney to step up and fix an error. They planned a straight English release with no Japanese track. No Japanese anime should ever be released without its original track – that’s just a given. Disney rethought their decision and delayed the original release and added the track and included a nice English subtitle track based on the original Japanese dialogue (done by Stephen Albert and Haruyo Moriyoshi). Unfortunately, that track is not on board this set. All the praise and accolades I can heap upon this new Blu-ray’s video and audio elements are completely undone simply because these English subtitles are a disaster. Disney could have easily included the original English subs, or even gone so far as to use the translations on the Studio Ghibli Japanese Blu-ray release (which were different from the 2000 DVD, but just as proper a translation of the original Japanese dialogue, credited to a company called Aura with dialogue adaptation by Jim Hubbert). In both or either case, these translations are mindful of Japanese cultural context and apply an attention to additional detail such that (for example) the names of Japanese voice actors and key production staff members in the end credits are translated correctly. Astonishingly, Disney’s new Blu-ray release utilizes neither of these fine translations, but instead are simply a word for word transcript of the adapted English language dubbing script. It’s a major screw up, and if I sound steaming mad about this – I am. I cannot recommend you purchase this Blu-ray. And if you think maybe the ‘bonus DVD’ in this package may be a straight port of the original DVD – no such luck. It also uses the English dub script. So Disney screwed up not only the new Blu-ray but the new DVD too. If you have the original DVD – keep it.
Ugh - why Disney would you use dubtitles when you already had perfectly good subtitles to use?!?!?! Two choices of them in fact.

Now I'm torn as to whether or not to open the package and hope Disney corrects this major, major error and does a mail-in exchange, or just return it to Amazon unopened. This is poorly done by Disney. I could understand if they didn't have any good subs to work with and didn't want to spend money on making one, but the fact that there are already two out there...it's unforgivable not to use one or the other (or both, with user selectable options like Criterion often does with their Japanese movies).

At minimum I'm going to write a "sternly worded email" to Disney expressing my displeasure and see what they say. Way to ruin what should have been a joyous celebration of a trio of Miyazaki BD releases.
 

Ejanss

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Carlo Medina said:
Ugh - why Disney would you use dubtitles when you already had perfectly good subtitles to use?!?!?! Two choices of them in fact.
As raised in the other thread on the subject, and the tortured, complex history of Disney's rights agreements regarding PM...maybe they DIDN'T have them.
They are, however, perfectly allowed use the subs they wrote themselves.
Disney rethought their decision and delayed the original release and added the track
[color=rgb(40,40,40);font-family:'Merriweather Sans', sans-serif;background-color:rgb(247,247,247);]("Rethought"....(snicker!) Yeah, I remember how they "suddenly" came up with the idea. :P[/color] )
 

Edwin-S

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I almost bought this and "Kiki's Delivery Service" today, but I kept thinking that there was talk here about Disney using dubtitles instead of properly translated subtitle tracks. Good thing I skipped buying them. Disney under Iger is even worse than it was under Eisner's reign. The pulling of Blu-ray 3D releases in North America, sky-high pricing of their BDs and theme park admissions and now, once again, the mishandling of Studio Ghibli releases. It's amazing that films like "Wreck-It Ralph" and "Big Hero Six" could manage to be made with that clod in charge of things.
 

Ahab

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I know it is expensive, but I've been buying the Japanese BD's of these wonderful anime movies. It is worth it to avoid the frustration and anger resulting from these screw-ups by Disney.
 

Carlo Medina

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What's curious is that the two English subs on the back of the packaging for Kiki and Mononoke are: English ESL and English SDH. Now I don't know what ESL may mean elsewhere, but here in academia land (where I work) that's English as a Second Language. And SDH is Subtitled for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, which contains written cues about film noises (like "Door creaks open" or "Loud offscreen noise").

Meanwhile for Wind Rises, it's English and English SDH (no ESL on English).

So it looks like Kiki may also suffer the same fate as Mononoke? If so I won't open either one and will likely return them to Amazon and explore the Japanese BDs.

Ahab/Hal - are they region free? Do you have a recommended trusted source? I haven't bought Japanese BDs before. Thanks!
 

Ejanss

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(Continuing to hammer away at the brick fan-wall--)You might wish to diplomatically phrase it in the form of a question of whether Disney still even HAS the original Japanese-provided subtitles as mastered by Ghibli fifteen years ago. You might even get an answer.
 

Lord Dalek

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Its a common thread that if said Ghibli film came out on dvd before 2004 (IE: Laputa, Kiki's, now Mononoke) it probably has dubtitles on its most recent release. That's a bit of a bad omen for Spirited Away.
 

EddieLarkin

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Ejanss said:
(Continuing to hammer away at the brick fan-wall--)You might wish to diplomatically phrase it in the form of a question of whether Disney still even HAS the original Japanese-provided subtitles as mastered by Ghibli fifteen years ago. You might even get an answer.
Ghibli have been handing over the proper subtitles for every other foreign release along with their master. Disney got the master, so why wouldn't they also be able to get the subtitles? It's not an issue of them "still" having them.
 

Ejanss

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EddieLarkin said:
Ghibli have been handing over the proper subtitles for every other foreign release along with their master. Disney got the master, so why wouldn't they also be able to get the subtitles? It's not an issue of them "still" having them.
Over on the other threads, there's been some debate about how much of Mononoke disney does actually have the rights to--
Originally, the '99 deal only specified a movie dub in theaters, but nothing much about disk rights to the audio/sub translation, which had to be hammered out later when they, as the article puts it, "rethought" their DVD release. :D

Disney's PM ownership has always confused most of the fans since, but Dalek's point about the subs since '04 may suggest it's a little stickier than just that one movie.
 

Ahab

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Carlo Medina said:
Ahab/Hal - are they region free? Do you have a recommended trusted source? I haven't bought Japanese BDs before. Thanks!
Yes, they are region free. I've been picking mine up from yesasia.com. Been doing business with them for years without a problem.
But you could check out amazon.jp. Am sure they would provide reliable service.
 

Carlo Medina

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Thanks Hal, so before I return all my Disney discs and buy the more expensive Japanese discs, I take it they're the same high A/V quality, with properly translated subs? I'll assume I'm missing bonus features that Disney included, but at this point, best A/V presentation with accurate subtitles is paramount.
 

Ahab

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Carlo Medina said:
Thanks Hal, so before I return all my Disney discs and buy the more expensive Japanese discs, I take it they're the same high A/V quality, with properly translated subs? I'll assume I'm missing bonus features that Disney included, but at this point, best A/V presentation with accurate subtitles is paramount.
Well I don't think you need worry about the A/V quality. Will have to go through a few of them and compare the English dub to the subtitles. I usually watch these in Japanese with English subtitles. It is my understanding that the subtitles are translations from the Japanese and not dubtitles. Also, all the extra features that I have seen on the discs are in Japanese with no English subtitles.

There is a thread over at that 'other blu ray forum' which includes a comparison of all the Ghibli blu ray releases. It is titled: Studio Ghibli Blu-ray - Which edition to choose? (Comparison of editions).

Since the Japanese blu rays are expensive you might want to peruse that thread to see if you think the extra cost is justified.
 

EddieLarkin

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All of the Japanese Ghibli Blu-rays have properly translated subs, barring Kiki's Delivery Service which uses the Streamline dubtitles (much superior to the Disney dubtitles found on the US disc, and the best official subtitle track that exists). The Japanese track is always the original and always lossless (though the post Dolby Digital discs default to the 2.0 option instead of the 5.1/6.1 option, so you'll need to switch). The picture quality is always on par with or sometimes a fraction superior to the US Blu-rays owing to better compression. The English subs are selectable from the player subtitle menu and the discs auto play the feature so you don't need to navigate the Japanese menus, except in the case of Castle in the Sky, which for some reason doesn't let you choose from the subtitle menu. It's simple enough to find the right options in the main menu though:

http://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.php?p=7764383&postcount=355

The last screenshot on that page is incorrect by the way, you can switch the Japanese subtitles off during the Castle in the Sky dub with the pop up menu. The dubs on the other discs can just be selected from the player audio menu.
 

Derrick King

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I believe the UK editions have proper subtitles (or at least the same subs as the Japanese releases), but they've been hit with DNR erasing the grain, so the video quality is nowhere near the Japanese or US releases. So the most economic choice is to go with the HK Blu-rays as they look the same as the Japanese and US Blus and have the same English subs as the Japanese releases, but they don't have the same amount of extras and what extras are there do not have English subs.
 

EddieLarkin

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Yeah StudioCanal likes to degrain their Ghibli films unfortunately:

http://www.caps-a-holic.com/hd_vergleiche/multi_comparison.php?art=part&x=269&y=222&action=1&image=0&hd_multiID=328&cap1=27032&cap2=21137&disc1=2929&disc2=2284&lossless=#vergleich

They do use the same subs as the Japanese releases.

The HK and TW versions are fine though they ditch the dub track in most cases. But there are some problems with the sub tracks on some of the HK releases, though I'm sure not sure which ones. Nausicaa's has punctuation removed and random quotation marks are added when not needed for some reason:

http://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.php?p=6038773&postcount=8

I got the Japanese releases to save myself the hassle.
 

Russell G

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What a mess. I've held off on buying any Miyazaki blu's, and looks like I will continue. Are any of them "Done right"?
 

Lord Dalek

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Russell G said:
What a mess. I've held off on buying any Miyazaki blu's, and looks like I will continue. Are any of them "Done right"?
They're all fine save for Laputa (which had awful subs the first go around), Kiki's (which was technically always dubtitled), and Mononoke (either due to Toho which I don't think gets a say in the matter as much as Tokuma Shoten/BVS Japan or Miramax). Ponyo has a lossy Japanese track due to either compression issues or a simple oversight.

Spirited Away WAS supposed to come out this month, it might be this subtitle issue that delayed it.
 

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