My Neighbor Totoro - 1993 Streamline Commercial


I wanted to find clips from the old Streamline releases of Hayao Miyazaki's films, and came across this little gem.  This is a 1993 television commercial for My Neighbor Totoro's first appearance in US theaters, courtesy of Streamline Pictures.  Carl Macek, the legendary producer and director who is, arguably, the individual most responsible for spreading the gospel of anime to America.

To this day, there are American Totoro fans who prefer the older Streamline dub over the 2006 Disney release.  I can appreciate their enthusiasm.  Macek had a keen understanding of how to translate foreign anime films to our domestic audience, and his actors had a natural, casual tone that felt genuine.  And he was an early champion of Miyazaki, localizing and releasing Lupin the 3rd: Castle of Cagliostro, Tales of the Wolf (the two Miyazaki-directed episodes of Lupin Series Two), Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, and Kiki's Delivery Service.

Anyway, here's a fascinating little time capsule for everyone to enjoy.  I have to say, I really do enjoy the old VHS color bleeding.  There's a special nostalgic appeal to my generation: like 1980s hip-hop and thrash, '80s anime just feels better when it's on tape.  You kids today with your newfangled, dadgum Blu-Ray discs won't understand.


Jamie said...

Was this version ever released?

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Fox released this version of Totoro on VHS, LaserDisc and DVD. All versions are pan-and-scan with English dubbing. When the domestic rights held by Fox expired (going to Disney), this version went out-of-print. It's easy to find at local shops, Ebay and Craigslist.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

The Streamline dub also was used when the film came out on DVD in Japan a decade ago, a nice touch I felt.

By the way, I don't know if it's the spellchecker doing it to you or not, but it's Macek, not "Masek".

Also, Macek was not involved with the original "Castle in the Sky" dub as he has stated a few times before in interviews I've heard.

Anonymous said...

The Japanese DVD also also has this version and it's definitely the best one, though it's very expensive and you need the ability to play multiple regions.

ItchyScratchyUrr said...

I have created a custom dub of my blu-ray to enjoy my prefered streamline version as desired (has fox/dis/jap dubs).

originally i just tried to torrent the audio- which i worked hard on, but had a weak response so i decided to include the video-it was re-rendered to a smaller file size, only slightly less quality than the original but use wmc with sd/hd shaders and it looks great. the important thing is i synced the audio with alot of effort and can be removed and re-muxed to your own unscathed rips with mkvmerge if desired. i now this may be uncooth (the wmt raws don't seem accessable anymore- thank god i hoovered them!) but i'm one of those who felt like i just didn't get what i wanted when i discovered the new dub. i messed with my kiki dub too- so i can switch between alt-eng-music track of the blu-ray and dvd version and i think i will for laputa too (just to hear the pirate son going 'scarrry riiide!)

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