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2014-12-23

Horus, Prince of the Sun DVD Available Today


Horus, Prince of the Sun, the landmark 1968 Japanese animated feature film, arrives on DVD today. Published by Discotek Media, this new release features an all-new English subtitle translation, two audio commentaries, two video interviews, movie trailer, production gallery, and four excellent gallery and essay features.

As regular visitors of Ghibli Blog know, I was heavily involved in this project. I wrote and edited the new subtitles, which are a great improvement over what existed before (compare these to the Optimum UK DVD), wrote and edited the bonus essays, the production gallery, and recorded an audio commentary track.

Horus, Prince of the Sun is currently available directly from the Discotek Media website. I highly recommend visiting there, as they will receive more money from each sale. The DVD is also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and RightStuf. Retail price is $17.99.

I'm very proud of my child. I'm quite impressed by the packaging and menu designs. Like any artist, I can only see the mistakes, and am already compiling the work of editing and revising for a possible Blu-Ray release in the future. I should stress that, as of this date, there are NO plans to release Horus on BD at this time. Check back again in another six months.

Horus, Prince of the Sun is the quintessential anime movie. It brought together many innovations and ideas from a young generation of animators and artists, fused with radical new theories by its young director, Isao Takahata. I've often called this movie, "The Citizen Kane of Anime," and I think that's a very true description. Here lies the moment when the ground shifted, and Japanese animation successfully mutated into a fully unique species. Here lies the birth of the modern anime revolution.

Okay, enough preaching from me. Go buy this DVD! Share with your family and friends this holiday season, spread the word, and give us your impressions. Mazel tov!

2014-12-05

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Opens in Minneapolis


Terrific news for our local Studio Ghibli fans: The Tale of the Princess Kaguya opens today in Minneapolis, courtesy of the MN Film Society and the St. Anthony Main Theater. Isao Takahata's latest masterpiece has received rave reviews from critics and moviegoers during its limited theatrical run in the US. It currently holds a perfect 100% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and appears to be a lock for an Academy Awards nomination for Best Animated Feature. It won't win, of course (The Lego Movie is the runaway favorite), but this may Hollywood's last opportunity to heap praise on Studio Ghibli's legendary founders.

I will be attending this weekend, probably tomorrow. If there are any Ghibli Blog fans in attendance, please stop by and say hello. Families who are sick and tired of their children singing "Frozen" songs are strongly encouraged to attend. For any lover of animation, Princess Kaguya is the movie event of the year, full stop.

2014 has been an outstanding year for Isao Takahata fans. The Tale of Princess Kaguya played on the big screen; Horus, Prince of the Sun finally arrived on DVD; Heidi, Girl of the Alps finally saw a completed fan translation. If your only exposure to Paku-san is through Grave of the Fireflies, you are in for a special treat. And this is on top of Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises, the 1980 Princess Mononoke book, and a stack of Ghibli Blu-Ray movies waiting to be enjoyed.

Enjoy this moment while you can, Ghibli Freaks. You will not see the likes of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata again. Do whatever you can to see this movie on the big screen.

PS: A fun bit trivia: The St. Anthony Main was my main movie hangout when living at the University of Minnesota. This was where I rushed to see Star Wars: The Phantom Menace back in 1999.  Saw it four times, in fact...and, yes, that's despite having to endure Jar Jar Binks throughout it all. For my generation, the idea of "a new Star Wars movie" achieved a mythic grandeur, almost like the Second Coming. We never expected it to happen, but always hoped and prayed. Perhaps that's why I'm more generous towards those Star Wars prequels, so often derided by the hardcore fans. Oh, well, I've always thought "hardcore fan" was a paradox.