Disney Reissues New Studio Ghibli DVDs

Laputa: Castle in the Sky
My Neighbor Totoro
Kiki's Delivery Service
This news scoop comes courtesy of Ghibli Freak Chris, one of our smartest and chattiest regulars here on the site. Disney will be releasing new "special edition" DVDs of three of the first four Studio Ghibli movies - Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, and Kiki's Delivery Service.

These reissues are expected to be tied into the DVD and Blu-Ray release of Ponyo, which The Ghibli Blog has previously reported as a possible October 29 date. There have been no official word on Ponyo, however. Another question is whether Blu-Ray will be included among these reissues. Given that Studio Ghibli in Japan has only announced a December date for the Ponyo BD, and no word on the other films.

In anticipation of the upcoming reissues, Disney has discontinued the existing DVDs for Laputa, Totoro and Kiki. This was a surprise move, and was made without any fanfare.

This news appeared today at Ultimate Disney, and I've sent a couple messages out via Twitter in search of more answers. If there is more news, rest assured I will report it.


BionicVapourDude said...

Will they be redoing the awful dubs of Kiki and Laputa?

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

I would hope and pray for dear life that those dubs will be gone. I can's say for certain, because there's no word. So here's how I see this situation:

As the story goes, Castle in the Sky and Kiki's Delivery Service sat in the Disney vaults for years before being released. The dubs were finished, everything was complete, but they just sat on the movies.

That changed with the arrival of Spirited Away. That was the point where John Lasseter began aggressively handling the Ghibli catalog under Disney's wing. He took charge of the Disney soundtracks and fought tooth and nail for support in home and theaters. He brought on Don and Cindy Hewitt to handle the US dub scripts. He even managed to streamline the DVD cover designs, which were a great improvement from the original releases.

And with the Disney/Pixar merger - I still say that was Steve Jobs' greatest business deal - Lasseter has complete and total control over the Ghibli catalog. To him, they might as well be Pixar films, and he'll fight just as hard to protect his adoptive children.

Whatever your stand on the dubs-vs-subs issue, I think we can all agree that the Disney dubs for Castle in the Sky and Kiki's Delivery Service are the worst of the bunch. The second and third wave of DVDs - while of varying quality from one movie to the next - were a great improvement.

These are purely my own observations. I have no facts as of yet to report. But until I hear otherwise, I think it's an easy bet that there will be new dubs for Laputa and Kiki.

James said...

Betcha they'll just be straight port-over reissues like Grave of the Fireflies. BD's adream.

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