GKIDS Reissues Studio Ghibli Blu-Rays in October, November, Early 2018

GKIDS Studio Ghibli Blu-Ray

GKIDS Films has secured the home video rights to Studio Ghibli's feature films, and will begin reissuing titles (Blu-Ray & DVD) under their own banner this October, with new cover designs and possibly new bonus features.

Six movies will be released on October 17: My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ponyo.

Two movies will be released on October 31: Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind and Castle in the Sky.

Two movies will be released on November 21: Porco Rosso and The Secret World of Arrietty.

Beginning in early 2018, five movies will be released: Pom Poko, Whisper of the Heart (Mimi wo Sumaseba), My Neighbors the Yamadas (!!), The Cat Returns, and Tales From Earthsea.

GKIDS has also stated that no changes will be made to the Ghibli titles currently on their roster, which currently includes Only Yesterday (Omohide Poro Poro), Ocean Waves (Umi ga Kikoeru), From Up on Poppy Hill, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, and When Marnie Was There.

Grave of the Fireflies is currently distributed by Sentai Filmworks, and Disney will retain the rights to The Wind Rises. There are no plans for GKIDS to secure the rights to either movie anytime soon.

All movies will feature officially-sanctioned English-language dubs, English subtitles with Japanese audio, separate English SDH subtitles, and French subtitles. All movies will be region-locked and will include BD/DVD discs, but no digital release.

This is an exciting move, and one that was expected as GKIDS took over film distribution of the Ghibli catalog, first with theatrical releases and then home video. The migration from Disney has proceeded for several years, and now that Disney's rights are set to expire, that transfer is all but complete.

Now, the big question for diehard Ghibli Freaks: will the problems with several Disney BD titles be fixed? Nausicaa used burnt-in dub credits for the title sequence, regardless of audio track. Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service, Pom Poko and Princess Mononoke featured "subtitles" instead of an accurate subtitle track. Ponyo featured a lossy (lower quality) Japanese audio track. GKIDS has promised to address all of these issues, and will work closely with Ghibli on all fronts.

It does appear, sadly, that Kiki will not feature a true English subtitle track. The recent GKIDS theatrical run used the old dubtitle track that has appeared on all home video releases. It's not the end of the world (the quality is pretty good, except for that Hindenberg line at the climax that isn't in the Japanese script). There has been some debate on whether this issue was resolved on the Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray box set, so if anyone can chime in with hard evidence, we would be eternally grateful.

Overall, I am quite excited for these new Ghibli Blu-Rays. When I began this website, you could only find a handful of Ghibli films in the States, and even that required some searching around for old VHS or DVD copies. In six months, we will have every feature film ever released by the studio in glorious HD. So we might have to buy some titles again? So what? This is a nice problem to have.

Of course, it goes without saying that the Disney Ghibli titles will soon go out-of-print. If you're a diehard collector, you should probably grab these movies while you can. Just take a look at how much the FOX versions of My Neighbor Totoro (featuring the old 1980s "Streamline" dub) are selling for these days.

1 comment:

Hayley Harrison said...

Hey Daniel, I have the Miyazaki Box set and the "oh the humanity" line is still there :/

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