Night on the Galactic Railroad Coming to DVD and Blu-Ray

Earlier this month, Discotek Media announced that they have acquired the rights to Gisaburo Suugi's 1985 anime masterpiece, Night on the Galactic Railroad, and will be releasing the film on DVD later this year. A Blu-Ray is also planned for future release, but no firm date has been set. Cover design and bonus features have yet to be determined.

This is one of my favorite animated movies, a deeply religious meditation on life and death. Imagine The Polar Express if it were created by Thomas Merton, C.S. Lewis or Thich Nhat Hanh. The story is adapted from the famous story by Japanese poet Kenji Miyazawa, who struggled deeply with the death of his younger sister, incorporating elements of his Christian and Buddhist faith. His death at age 37 from pneumonia left his story unfinished.

Gisaburo Suugi is one of a handful of the greatest Japanese animator/directors. His credits include the 1958 Toei Doga animated feature, Hakujaden; the 1967 TV series Goku no Daibouken (episode #4 is a classic); the 1969 Lupin III pilot film; and the 1973 adult art-film, Belladonna of Sadness (which is also coming to home video this year).

Ghibli Blog has previous discussed Night on the Galactic Railroad here, here and here.


Christian Kent said...

I know you have some connections with Discotek, Daniel, and I was wondering if you could shed a bit of light on their marketing strategy. I've sent multiple e-mails to the company, but have never received a reply. They always promise that a blu-ray release will follow shortly, but have thus far failed to deliver on several big releases (Horus and Cagliostro being a couple of glaring examples). I understand that remastering and authoring in HD takes longer than standard definition, but this practice of staggering the releases and providing us with only vague details is frustratingly uncommon, even among the smaller distributors I've dealt with. Personally, I haven't purchased a DVD in years, and I don't know many cinephiles in my circle who have. I'm not saying there isn't still a waning market for them, but I think most of us are holding off on purchasing these titles until the superior versions become available.

echoBlaster said...

Wonderful news! This is also one of my favorite animated films. The atmosphere is just so other-worldy and dreamlike, and the story is very deep and full of interesting symbolism. Plus, that soundtrack.

Been waiting for a proper English re-release of this for a long time.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Reminded I haven't read the original story yet at all. I noticed an earlier post mentioned a place someone stuck a PDF file at but I guess I missed that (that was 6 years ago). I do see there's this one page with a translation from 1996.... I suppose that'll suffice.

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