Films of Hayao Miyazaki

Rumors of the closure of Studio Ghibli are not true, but it seems that Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro director Hayao Miyazaki may be done with feature filmmaking for good. In a career that spanned over thirty years directing features, Miyazaki refined his own storytelling and helped change the world’s idea of what stories animated films can bring to audiences of all ages. And yet even with the muscle of Disney behind them, the films of Hayao Miyazaki have been somewhat slow to hit DVD and then Blu-ray in the US. (For Blu-ray that is in part thanks to a measured release plan in Japan.)

With the just-released US Blu upgrades for Kiki’s Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke, and the debut release of The Wind Rises on Disney home video, all but three of Miyazaki’s films are now on blu-ray in the States. (Disney will release Porco Rosso in February, and probably have Spirited Away out by Christmas 2015.) That’s as good a reason as any to look back at the filmmaker’s illustrious career. There aren’t any films on his CV you should not see — he has not made a bad movie — but below we’ll look at the films of Hayao Miyazaki in ranked order, to help you figure out what to prioritize, in the event you’re relatively new to his work. Read More »

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This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.

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WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
With his adaptation of the classic children’s book Where the Wild Things Are, co-writer/director Spike Jonze took the $100 million budget he was given by the studio to make an accessible family film, and used it to make a heartrending arthouse film for adults. And we could not be better off for it. Never before has a film so honestly and fascinatingly depicted what it’s like to be a kid: the excitement, the loneliness, the confusion, the joy, the anger—even the rapid mood swings that lead from one to the other. There is no traditional three-act arc; the story takes place entirely through the eyes of Max, who invents the world of the Wild Things as a means of coping with his emotional pain, and later uses it to help gain a better understanding of life and himself. Jonze approaches all of the themes with great subtlety and intimacy, even when the larger than life Wild Things are punching holes through trees and launching each other into the air. The cinematography, special effects, sound work, and score are all astounding, and perfectly complement the tone and ideas of the film to create a fully unified vision—all while still firmly retaining the spirit of the book. That a film this unique and wonderful exists is surprising; that it’s been so casually neglected by audiences, critics and the Oscars is straight-up tragic.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – 4 Webisodes. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as an all-new short entitled “Higglety Pigglety Pop!” featuring the voices of Meryl Streep and Forest Whitaker, a HBO First Look featurette, a digital copy, and the standard definition DVD.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$16.99 $17.99 $15.77
Amazon – $17.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$19.99 $26.99 $24.77
Amazon – $23.49

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VOTD: Ponyo On A Boat

Ponyo on a boat

Over the weekend Devindra happened to find a great Ponyo music parody created by TheSwitcher called Ponyo on a Boat! Of course, this music video edit of the recent Hayao Miyazaki anime uses the NSFW rap song “I’m On A Boat” by The Lonely Island and featuring T-Pain. Beware of possible minor spoilers. Watch the video embedded after the jump.

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Tyler Stout's Inglourious Basterds PosterIn this week’s /Filmcast, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley debate the merits of Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys, reflect on the Avatar trailer/hype, try to figure out what a new director means for the Bioshock film, and lament the financial state of the entertainment industry. Special guest director Nicholas Jasenovec joins us for this episode. Nick’s film, Paper Heart, starring Charlyne Yi, is out in theaters now.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Monday at 10 PM EST / 7 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page for our next broadcast.

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District 9 PosterIn this week’s /Filmcast, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley get flummoxed by Bryan Singer’s decision to reboot Battlestar Galactica, discuss some recent Avatar news, assess the greatness of Ponyo, and try to make sense of some fascinating Superman IP law. Special guest Kyle Newman, the director of Fanboys and the upcoming Emo Boy, joins us for this episode. Also, a surprise visitor drops by to tell us her thoughts on District 9.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Monday at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review Inglourious Basterds.

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Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo Movie Trailer #2

Ponyo

Walt Disney Pictures has released the full length movie trailer for the American redub of Legendary Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki‘s latest movie Ponyo. The film will be released on over 800 screens, the largest American release yet for Miyazaki. And the trailer features some fantastic visuals which will hopefully appeal to the masses. As always, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Alice in Wonderland

Walt Disney Studios has finally announced their schedule for the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International. Full details after the jump.

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Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo Teaser Trailer

Ponyo
Walt Disney Pictures has released the movie trailer for the American redub of Legendary Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki‘s latest movie Ponyo. The film will be released on over 800 screens, the largest American release yet for Miyazaki. And the trailer features some fantastic visuals which will hopefully appeal to the masses. You can see this trailer in theaters this weekend attached to My Sister’s Keeper or watch it now after the jump. As always, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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