Well, we all knew it would happen sooner or later, and today my number finally came up. YouTube has shut down Omohide Poro Poro. I reveived a form letter this morning; 13 emails, actually, one for each segment of the movie. Nice.
I'll try to be optimistic about my little experiment. For a foreign film with no media exposure in the US, this movie generated over 13,000 views since July. The response from everyone has been overwhelming, and there is an ever-growing interest.
The reason I posted Omohide Poro Poro is simple. Disney holds the distribution rights for the Ghibli film catalog in the States, but refuses to release the movie. They have no intention of ever releasing the DVD, due to its more adult content and certain scenes that would risk a media backlash.
Disney never wanted anything to do with most of the Ghibli catalog (they really only wanted a couple Miyazaki films like My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service). Tough. They're stuck with the whole lot. They agreed to the terms when they signed the contract. Now it's about damn time that they hold up their end of the bargain.
Again, I'm trying to be an optimist. Our YouTube experience demonstrates that this movie can become a success. It's also showed that the public is well aware that this isn't a Mickey Mouse cartoon for children, but an adult film in the vein of Renoir and Ozu's classics.
It's one thing to shut down a movie on YouTube that's widely available, and it's another thing when it's not. If the suits and lawyers object, then fine. That's their right. Then give us the DVD, so we can actually go out and buy it. Choose one or the other, but don't shackle us without either. That's just unfair.
According to Turner Classic Movies, Omohide Poro Poro ranks #2 on their yet-to-be-released DVD list. There's a real demand for this movie. It's about damned time that Disney got off their hides and released it.