Charitable Gift Giving

We surf the Web to find good products that help out a great cause.

Charitable Gift Giving header image 2

Complete Miyazaki Film Collection – Studio Ghibli Blu-Ray Box Set: Get it with Amazon Smile

June 17th, 2015 · No Comments · Amazon

I realize that I should just send Disney my bank information and let them withdraw money from my account at will. They are one of those rare companies which you give money to and beg them to take more of it. Just this past month I’ve given them money to see Inside Out and Avengers: Age of Ultron, purchased a Winnie the Pooh bassinet for the baby we’re expecting, purchased a Winnie the Pooh crib set. This doesn’t include the money I shoveled to them for a week in Disney World last year or the money I’ll be shoveling to them later this year to see Star Wars.

Something else I’ll be happily paying money for is this Amazon exclusive set of Hayao Miyazaki’s work on Blu-Ray, officially titled The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki. For those who don’t know Miyazaki’s films, he’s essentially to Japanese traditional animation what Walt Disney was to American traditional animation and what John Lasseter is to American computer animation. And like these two American icons, Miyazaki’s films, all hand-drawn animation, are amazing not just in their artistry but in their storytelling and heart as well.

miyazaki full bluray set

While the films produced at Miyazaki’s studio, Studio Ghibli, have always enjoyed enormous success in Japan, it’s only relatively recently that American audiences have been introduced to them. Disney only relatively recently acquired the rights to distribute the films through video and they’ve done an excellent job with them; the DVD and Blu-Ray transfers are excellent.

The set is being released in honor of Miyazaki’s announced retirement and contains his eleven feature films on Blu-Ray:

  • Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro from 1979, his first theatrical release
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind from 1984
  • Castle in the Sky (Laputa) from 1986
  • My Neighbor Totoro from 1988
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service from 1989
  • Porco Rosso from 1992
  • Princess Mononoke from 1997
  • Spirited Away from 2001, Academy Award winner and the highest grossing film in Japan history
  • Howl’s Moving Castle from 2004
  • Ponyo from 2008
  • The Wind Rises from 2013

I’m someone who pounced on all the DVDs as they came out, and then again on all the Blu-Rays as they began to be released individually. You’d think I’d be upset at hearing that there’s a new box set that has most of the Blu-Rays I bought, but I’m surprisingly not all that upset. Aside from being a bargain at an announced retail price of $249.99 and a discounted pre-sale price of $224.99 (with Price Guarantee, so if the price goes up between now and November you’ll get it first and you’ll get it at the lowest price betwee no), there are a number of extras, including a 1972 television pilot called Yuki’s Sun directed, storyboarded and animated by Miyazaki, three episodes of a 1972 anime series called Little Samurai that he storyboarded, an uncut version of his retirement press conference, and a book called The Great Dichotomy: Looking at the Works of Hayao Miyazaki.

If there’s one pet peeve I have about the American transfers it’s the vocal talent. Specifically, Disney loaded up the voice actors with A-list and B-list celebrities, but too often when I listen to the American vocals it’s like fingerprints on a chalkboard. The child voice actors tend to be straight from the Disney Channel and lack any of the subtlety or grace of their Japanese counterparts. Even the celebrities, most of whom I admire, seem to overpower the elegance of the Japanese animation.

Luckily there’s an easy solution: when you watch these turn OFF the American vocal track and turn on the original Japanese one, with English subtitles. If your child isn’t old enough to read and keep up with the subtitles, he or she probably isn’t old enough for some of the adult themes in these movies anyway.

Be careful when shopping for these. Look on Amazon for a product specifically titled The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki (Amazon Exclusive) [Blu-ray] or click through this link. A lot of scammers are going to put up other listings hoping you’ll accidentally buy theirs instead of going through the official Amazon link. Go through this link and don’t forget by doing so you can have some of your purchase go to your favorite charity.


No Comments so far ↓

There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment