New Studio Ghibli Blu-Ray - Castle in the Sky, My Neighbors the Yamadas

Excellent news!  The next round of Studio Ghibli Blu-Ray discs have been announced - Laputa, Castle in the Sky and My Neighbors the Yamadas.  Both are scheduled to be released in Japan this December 22.

I'm very pleasantly surprised to see that Nausicaa's BD design has been retained for future Ghibli releases.  It's very stylish and abstract in the tradition of The Criterion Collection.  No doubt the same bonus materials, like the miniature book, will be included once again.  In fact, I can see these becoming prized collector's items among the Ghibli faithful.

Bonus materials appear to be the same as the DVDs, with trailers, commercials, and storyboards.  A wealth of soundtracks and subtitles will be included, which is a very welcome feature.  Is Ghibli counting on import sales for these movies?  That would be an interesting prospect.  Obviously, these films will find their way around the globe, but you know how cool it would be to have Castle in the Sky and My Neighbors the Yamadas playing on your big-screen television on Christmas and New Years'.

There is no word yet on when Disney will release these BD's in North America, but they will be coming, I assure you.  It would be super cool if the American versions came in these packages, too.


Blu-Ray and DVD - Anne of Green Gables: Road to Green Gables

Good news, fellow Ghibli Freaks!  Anne of Green Gables: Road to Green Gables, this summer's theatrical release of the first six episodes of the 1979 World Masterpiece Theater series, will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD on November 17 in Japan, as part of the Ghibli Museum label.

Bonus materials include director Isao Takahata's recent appearance at the Canadian Embassy, and a collection of Ioka Masahiro's background paintings.  According to GhibliWiki, there will be no English subtitles, but we'll keep our eyes open and see if that's true.

As always, a big thanks to the crew at GhibliWiki for the scoop.  One guy pretty much runs that site now, which is unfortunate, but just like me, he has the help of dedicated fans to keep everyone informed.  Gracias!

Video - Mei and the Kittenbus - A Youtube Reconstrucion

Now this is something special.  It is a reconstruction, made entirely from existing print media in the public sphere, of Studio Ghibli's short film Mei and the Kittenbus.  As this film was intended solely for the Ghibli Museum in Japan, it has never been shown to the outside world, outside one or two special occasions.

This reconstruction uses photos, postcards, and calendars to reconstruct the story.  It's a very novel idea, and for those of us who are unable to travel across the ocean to Japan, it's the next best thing.  Personally, I would enjoy the opportunity to see the Ghibli Museum shorts in person - I'm completely sympathetic to Hayao Miyazaki's desire to shield children from the iron grip of consumer capitalism - but this is the next best thing.

Let us know what you think.  I'm curious to hear your impressions.

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