daniel thomas Categories: blu-ray, borrower arrietty, dvd
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.