Gedo Senki (Tales From Earthsea) R2 DVD

In the comments on the previous post, a reader asked about the Gedo Senki DVD and whether or not it was legit. I can't say for certain since I wasn't given any links, but I thought I should clear things up for everyone who's interested in importing the movie.

The Region 2 DVD for Gedo Senki should be easily recognizable for any Ghibli fan, as the packaging follows in the same vein as their other DVD's. You have the familiar logos, and layouts are the same, and the usual plethora of extras and bonuses are included (the e-konte storyboards, for example). Tales From Earthsea also follows on the heels of Howl's Moving Castle (Ghibli's previous feature film, duh) by including a standard and deluxe DVD package. The deluxe versions include more discs containing extras, more behind-the-scenes features and such.

Strangely enough, the only Ghibli DVD from Japan to feature any audio commentary is Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind. Surely, that was such an important landmark film, for anime and Miyazaki's career (Nausicaa's success at the box office led to the founding of Studio Ghibli a year later). I'm a bit surprised that commentaries have not been included on any of the later DVD's. Perhaps this is more of a Western concept.

Back to Gedo Senki. The most notable inclusion for the R2 DVD is the English dubbed soundtrack. This is, in fact, the official Disney-produced dub, and fully intended for the eventual North American release. We are reminded, in case anyone forgot, that the Sci-Fi Channel owns the rights to Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea saga due to their made-for-tv movie a few years back. Those rights will expire in 2009, and this has prevented Goro Miyazaki's movie from being released here, either in theatres or on DVD.

It's pretty good timing, in any event, since 2009 should see the American theatrical release of Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea. I would expect Disney to release at least a couple new DVD's to coincide with the latest Hayao Miyazaki classic. So I would fully expect to see, sigh, Goro's film, complete with the Disney soundtrack ready to go.

As for any other DVD's that could be released, I dunno. No clue. I'm only guessing here.


Geoff Nickerson said...

Maybe Disney will become rational and release "Only Yesterday"...not likely.

Maybe they will acquire some rights to other movies like Ocean Waves or some of the early Takahata Films.....yeah, probably not

Fortunately I was able to see Only Yesterday on TCM back in January 2006 during Miyzaki month.

I'm really thinking about getting a Region Free DVD Player or even an R2 DVD player so I can start importing from the UK. Not only do they get a lot more movies, but it seems the quality of their releases are much better as well. (including Box Art)

Anonymous said...

Check out the Australian Ghibli releases too. They are essentially the same as the UK (infact, the UK releases were authored in Australia) but with better cover art.

Geoff Nickerson said...

Here is a bit of insight into the new Takahata film from the mouth of Ghibli president Hoshino Koji.

"Ever since Hohokekyo Tonari no Yamada-kun (My Neighbors the Yamadas) in 1999, Takahata hasn't produced anymore films. In fact, his new movie is now being prepared. We can’t tell the details, though it has been more crystallized than it was some years ago. He hasn't produced movie in these 10 years, but was busy on writing or lecturing. If Miyazaki is the one who gathers attention under the sun, Takahata is the type who quietly cruises underwater. If they have any common point, then they both have amazingly deep fountain of creation. Takahata is now very fine. Please, expect his next film. Goro is also preparing his new film."

So Goro and Isao are both making new films. It will be interesting to see how much Goro has learned from ToE. (although I still need to see the latter, haha)

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