Italy Gets a Kick-Ass Ponyo DVD

Well, well, it appears that Italy is getting a kick-ass Ponyo DVD, too.  This package includes the two-disc DVD, along with the Ponyo plushie that we all know and love.  Disney dipped their toes in the Ghibli merchandising waters last year with the American DVD release, but it's been impossible to find ever since.  This might prove to be a compelling alternative.

One thing that really impresses me with this release is the packaging.  There's a considerable effort to use as little plastic as possible, and the cardboard box and disc booklet is very attractive.  It reminds me a lot of the early days of disc-based media like CD-ROM.  Cardboard covers were dismissed as cheap, low-grade junk, and the sturdier plasic cases were far more popular.  Today, however, I think we're well enough aware of the greater costs of adding mountains of indestructible plastics to this planet.  Frankly, I'm happy to see CD cases go extinct...those things were sooo incredibly fragile.

No doubt reducing costs is a primary concern for DVD and Blu-Ray publishers, and doubly so for anime publishers.  If they can cut costs where it counts, while still offering a compelling product - say hello to more merchandise, kids - I'm more than willing to sign up.  It will be interesting to see how this competes against the rise of non-physical digital media and platforms like the iPad.  I want to be able to watch movies on my TV, desktop computer, laptop, iPod, iPad...the consumer market is diversifying rapidly, and this is going to become the major challenge for physical media.

Here are some more photos of the Italian Ponyo DVD box from all sides. Enjoy:


Katie said...

Okay, this package is freaking adorable. I wish I didn't already have the American release. I don't know much about the region coding, would we be able to play these dvd on American dvd players?

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Because Europe uses a different DVD region than North America, you would need to override that code in order to play it on an American DVD player. The good news is that many, if not most, DVD units contain "easter egg" passwords that allow you to override the region coding on the disc. This is always some goofy combination on the remote control - up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, start - that sort of thing.

If you watch DVDs on your computer, then you can find a software program that overrides the region code, and allow you to play imports. That's what I used for years before Windows decided to punish me for trying to install a BD-ROM drive. But something like DVD Region Free should work with ease.

Katie said...

Cool, thank you!

marc said...

As adorable as that looks I'm surprised Italy only gets DVD version. BD is available so why push DVD or not offer both formats?

Love the packaging but one thing I've never been happy with is how much display room all these collector's editions take up on shelves. It's like if you're serious about collecting you need a whole room to display it all. Great freaking idea none the less and great find Daniel!

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