daniel thomas Categories: dvd, miyazaki, takahata
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, Mami Sunada's 2013 documentary look into the inner workings of Studio Ghibli, was released on DVD on January 27. It was previously released on digital download services, including Amazon Instant Video and Apple iTunes.
As many have noticed, this isn't really a "Studio Ghibli" documentary as a Hayao Miyazaki one. Isao Takahata, the co-founder and "senior" partner of 50 years, appears only briefly. The attention, as always, is on Miya-san, who is finishing his "final" feature film, and abruptly announcing his retirement. Nobody believes it, of course. But time marches forward, with both founding filmmakers well into their 70s. The Wind Rises and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya both have a sense of closure, of summarizing each director's careers. Besides, isn't it greedy of us to expect more, more, more?
In Japan, behind-the-scenes documentaries are fairly common with Studio Ghibli movies, but this is the first major one to see a release Stateside. One hopes that other films, such as the three-hour Princess Mononoke documentary, could be imported in the future. All depends on how well this movie performs for GKids Films, which, of course, is a fancy way of telling you to purchase this movie and help make it a hit.
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness currently holds an 89% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes. It's an excellent picture, well worth the investment, and easily recommended.