Horus, Prince of the Sun (DVD) December 23, 2014 - Official Press Release



Discotek Media announces the release of DVD, “Horus, Prince of the Sun.” Available for purchase December 23, 2014 (MSRP $17.95).

Minneapolis, MN, November 17, 2014 -- Horus, Prince of the Sun (Taiyou no Ouji Horusu no Daibouken), Isao Takahata’s directorial feature film debut, stands as the most influential Japanese animated feature film ever made. Vivid, visceral and violent, yet charged with kinetic energy, Horus shatters the Walt Disney mold, establishing a new paradigm of adult storytelling, psychological realism, visual complexity, social themes and stylistic violence. This film marks the birth of the anime revolution.

Unofficially based on the mythic tales of Japan’s indigenous Ainu people, Takahata tells the story of Horus, the young warrior seeking revenge against the ice devil Grunwald, who destroyed his home; Hilda, the survivor of a massacre tormented between good and evil; and the fishing villagers caught in the middle, unsure which side to trust.

Available in the US for the first time in its original Japanese, Discotek is proud to present this groundbreaking anime feature by the creators of Lupin the 3rd; Heidi, Girl of the Alps; Anne of Green Gables; Gauche the Cellist; Grave of the Fireflies; My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke.

Directed by Isao Takahata (co-founder of Studio Ghibli). Animation Direction by Yasuo Otsuka. Scene Design by Hayao Miyazaki (2003 Academy Award Winner, co-founder of Studio Ghibli). Character Design and Key Animation by Yasuji Mori (Hakujaden: Tale of the White Serpent), Reiko Okuyama (Belladonna, The Little Mermaid), and Yoichi Kotabe (Heidi, Girl of the Alps). Musical Direction by Michiyo Mamiya (Grave of the Fireflies). Screenplay by Kazuo Fukuzawa, based on his play, “The Sun Above Chikisani.”


New and improved English subtitle translation

Two audio commentaries: one by Ghibli Blog author Daniel Thomas MacInnes, featuring readings from Anipages Daily, Critic After Dark, and Buta Connection; and one by anime scholar Mike Toole

Every Poet a Thief: Inspirations From Horus, a gallery of influences and themes seen in the films of Studio Ghibli

Hilda and Horus: Just Like Twins, an essay on the film’s main protagonists and its themes of trauma and revenge

Reiko Okuyama: A Tribute to a Legend, an essay by animation scholar Benjamin Ettinger on pioneering artist and feminist icon Reiko Okuyama

Message of Hope: A Conversation With Isao Takahata, an interview with Isao Takahata conducted in 2010 by film critic Peter van der Lugt

2008 video conversation with Isao Takahata and Yoichi Kotabe

Production gallery, featuring publicity stills, movie posters and home video releases around the world

Theatrical trailer

PLUS: Rare photographs of the film's creators: Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, founders of Studio Ghibli, with Yasuo Otsuka, Yasuji Mori, Reiko Okuyama, and Yoichi Kotabe


For press inquiries, please contact Discotek Media at For interviews and appearances, please contact Daniel Thomas MacInnes at


StephenM said...

It'd be great if there was actually a link here to where we could buy it.

Jonathan Rimorin said...

StephenM -- here's an Amazon link, which is where I came upon this news. Funnily enough, when I saw this was available, I thought, "I wonder what Daniel over at Ghiblicon thinks of this release," and came over to find he's done the commentary! Buying this right now, and well done, MacInnes!

daniel thomas said...

Correction: I recorded an audio commentary track (badly), wrote/edited the subtitles, and assembled most of the bonus features. :)

zushiomaru said...

this tale plays in Scandinavia, should be Hols, not Horus (like the Egyptian god ?:) Obviously it's the jp way they write Hols, they have no l so ru instead..

How makers of this dvd could miss big mistake like that..

Like yr Manga translations too, if they are yours,
Tynch..needs some work, it's Belgiƫ in flemish, Belgium in english :)

Keep up the good work.

daniel thomas said...

The decision of which name to use for "Horusu" was mine. I chose "Horus" over "Hols" because it sounds better to my ears, more aggressive, more macho. It's a judgement call, and I can just as easily supply quotes from the filmmakers that imply "Horus" was the intended name.

As for the setting, the movie is not set in Scandinavia. There is no factual basis for that idea. It's simply an internet legend that took hold. In France, fans believe the story takes place in Russia or Eastern Europe. What happened is that the Toei Doga studio bosses objected to the use of an Ainu story and setting for an animated feature, and forced Takahata to remove any direct rederence. He did just that, but kept the original story outline as intended. He just wasn't explicit about it. The puppet play that was the basis for his story remained a major influence on characters and plot.

Again, there is no ironclad rule on the names. It's a judgement call, which is what happens when translating foreign languages that share a different history. Japanese-to-Roman dialect is much harder than it appears. That's why it's called "translation." Not every thought has a 1:1 equal in the other dialect.

And, for the record, if it wasn't for me, this DVD would have been called "Little Norse Prince." It would have had a half-baked subtitle track and next to no extra features. I fought like hell for the proper title and I'm proud of the results.

Anonymous said...

You can tell Hilda is an Ainu just by looking at her clothing. Many thanks for not using that stupid Norse Prince Valiant rip off title. Funny thing I had a Japanese pen pal who was a college student and she never heard of Ainu Jin until I told her about them. She was from Saitama and wasn't a country bumpkin.

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