Arrietty - Optimum UK Blu-Ray Packaging

While we Americans are only days away from finally seeing Arrietty in theaters, Studio Ghibli's 2010 hit film is already available in many regions on DVD and Blu-Ray.  Here's a look at Optimum's Arrietty BD/DVD deluxe edition, released just last month.  I'm highlighting this version of Arrietty for two reasons: one, Ghibli Blog has a lot of UK fans (thank you, all), and two, this version has a unique English-language soundtrack, recorded exclusively for the UK theatrical run.  Disney's US dub is a completely different beast.

Now that I've seen Disney's version of Arrietty, I'm curious to hear how well the British performed.  Hopefully, the actors don't all speak in that syrupy, slowed-down tone that sounds like stroke victims.  It's either a Disney thing, or it's just the way American parents speak to small children.  Either way, it's a slightly odd, goofy thing to my ears, and I've never been able to make my peace with it.  But that might only be me, so I'm perfectly fine with being in the minority.  In any case, I'm honestly curious to hear the British cast of Arrietty, to see if Mary Norton's books serve as a reference and an influence.  I suspect an English accent will suit this story better than Southern California.

I've always been an admirer of Optimum's packaging of the Studio Ghibli movies.  Having them listed as part of a "Studio Ghibli Collection" is very smart, and helps to establish itself as a separate brand.  And the packaging itself is just terrific.  Look at the gatefold that holds the discs, and that magnificent illustration of the tree.  Notice the collection of postcards from the movie.  This is a quality design, through and through, and a model of how Ghibli BDs should look.  Japan, of course, has the best packaging, but Optimum deserves the silver medal.

It would be nice if Disney packaged the Studio Ghibli films this way, but they seem more interested in moving their own product lines off store shelves, and pushing their computer-processed, machine-assembly manufactured "pop singers" than anything.  Ahem, excuse me.  In any event, I think the UK Arrietty would make a solid addition to your Blu-Ray library, and if you're looking to support Optimum, here's yer chance.


watkinzez said...

The English dub, bar a few awkward pronounciations to match the mouth flaps, is pretty good. Very faithful to the original cast. The highlight of this set is easily the Miyazaki interview, though. His brutal honesty in answering the questions posed can be hilarious.

Elixe_Idej said...

The StudioCanal (Optimum) deluxe edition releases do look great and I only wish they released them for all Ghibli BR, and not just the two newest ones. Whisper Of The Heart et al just have a standard BluRay case with a card slipcover. I hope Poppy Hill gets a deluxe ed this time next year. And yes, you should definitely watch the Miyazaki interview. He doesn't hold back in his opinions.

manveru said...

I'm really upset at the Disney Channel saturated direction the US dubs are going in recently, not to mention the awful changing of the titles and autotuned theme songs which ruin the mood of the entire movie. I can't even watch the Ponyo dub, and I'm not even going to waste my money on Arrietty. It's nice that they get to be on the big screen and all, but at this point I'd much rather just have straight to video releases if it meant having a halfway decent dub. Haven't seen the UK dub yet, but if it turns out well hopefully they keep making them for all the future releases. Most of the good actors are across the pond anyway ;)

Krysta said...

I like the UK version a gazillion times better than the US one based on the trailer alone. Howl's Moving Castle is the only Ghibli film I can stand to watch dubbed, and that is only if my fellow movie watchers put up a big fuss about reading subtitles. My one hesitation for buying the UK version would be compatibility. Are BD region-free? I don't have the cash to burn on a movie that might not work in my PS3 or other players.

J.R.D.S. said...

Some are, some aren't, as with DVDs. But European ones of Japanese films tend to be region B-locked so they can't be reverse imported by the Japanese (while USA ones are more likely to be region-free as they're already in the same region as Japan). Check,,, and so on.

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