Nausicaa Blu-Ray Arriving in USA on March 8
Yes, I know, ancient news, and I get an "incomplete" for the semester. Ah, well, pass the egg nog.
Disney will be releasing Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind on Blu-Ray this coming March 8, and as you can see, the cover design is similar to this year's Ghibli releases. It looks excellent, stands out, and Disney should be congratulated. If history is any judge, the picture quality will be pretty much identical to the Japanese disc, which is outstanding.
Extras on the Nausicaa BD are thin, however, and this is where Disney deserves a good scolding. The Japanese release includes a small art book, postcards and trailers for The Borrower Arrietty, a 40-minute discussion involving Evangelion director Hideaki Anno (he worked as a key animator on Nausicaa), and the audio commentary track from the 2006 region-2 DVD. The UK version, released earlier this year, does include the audio commentary and the interview, both with English subtitles, so there's no excuse for its omission in the States.
The US Nausicaa release will include the interactive "World of Ghibli" feature that is also available on the films released earlier this year, and that is nice to see. The sprawling map is covered with characters from the Ghibli movies, which suggests that Disney will release the entire catalog (sans Omohide Poro Poro and Umi ga Kikoeru) eventually. Heck, even Mononoke is represented, so that gives me hope.
The Behind the Studio documentary could be interesting. These sort of things are usually just filler, but there is a great story to tell...please please please let somebody at Pixar put it together. Nausicaa is the defining work of Hayao Miyazaki's later career - literally the difference between becoming the biggest film director in the world, and being an obscure, forgotten manga artist.
One thing Disney has done that I really love are the postcards, featuring the Japanese movie posters. I can't thank them enough for including those. The paper stock is thick, durable; the colors and details are vibrant and sharp. I fully expect Nausicaa to include this as well.
In any case, the extras are all nice, but the only thing that really matters is the feature film itself, and the Nausicaa Blu-Ray promises to be spectacular. I still remember watching a blackened, bleached-out VHS bootleg of Nausicaa a decade ago. Heck, I still remember Warriors of the Wind! Carly Simon was right; these are the good 'ol days.