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Blu-ray Release: The Wind Rises, Princess Mononoke and Kiki’s Delivery Service

November 25, 2014

Last week, Disney released Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-nominated The Wind Rises on Blu-ray, along with new editions of the classic Studio Ghibli films Princess Mononoke (1997) and Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989), providing a good overview of the recently retired filmmaker’s legendary career.

The Wind Rises Blu-rayThe Wind Rises: Although his nearsighted vision kept him from being a pilot, Jirô Horikoshi (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) always dreamed of designing flying machines, and the engineer was responsible for creating the fighter planes that Japan used during WWII.  His life was also marked by chance encounters with the young Nahoko (Emily Blunt), leading to a love affair marked by tragedy.

Although the script unfortunately has a few problems, this doesn’t take away from the true reason to see the biopic, which lies in the hand drawn animation.  The visuals are beautiful throughout every scene, and The Wind Rises is a good movie from a great filmmaker, nicely capping off his storied career.  You can read my full review right here.

The Blu-ray includes a featurette on the voice actors behind the English dub, as well as the entire film in storyboards, a lengthy press conference with Hayao Miyazaki, and the original Japanese trailers.

The Wind Rises is 127 minutes and rated PG.

Princess Mononoke Blu-ray

Princess Mononoke: When Ashitaka (Billy Crudup), travels to the western forests seeking a cure for his deadly curse, the young warrior becomes involved in a deadly battle between Lady Eboshi (Minnie Driver), who is leading a clan of humans into war against the animal gods, led by the fearless young Princess Mononoke (Yuriko Ishida) who was literally raised by wolves.

With an exciting and strikingly mature story that has a deep focus on the bond between people and nature, brought to life through brilliantly drawn animation Princess Mononoke is a classic epic that remains one of Hayao Miyazaki’s most revered and widely acclaimed films, and is among the best that Studio Ghibli has to offer.

The Blu-ray includes the original Japanese storyboards and trailers, as well as a couple of featurettes.

Princess Mononoke is 134 minutes and rated PG.

Kiki's Delivery Service Blu-ray

Kiki’s Delivery Service: Following tradition to become a witch, Kiki (Minami Takayama) is a young teenager who sets out on her own for the first time with her talking cat Jiji (Rei Sakuma), finding herself in a European city where she starts a courier service to support herself and prove her independence.

An early classic from Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, the nicely animated Kiki’s Delivery Service is a charming and entertaining coming of age fantasy adventure, with unique characters that still hold up after 25 years.

The Blu-ray includes an introduction by John Lasseter, the original Japanese storyboards and trailers, and numerous featurettes on the production.

Kiki’s Delivery Service is 103 minutes and rated G.

-John Corrado

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