Blu-ray Release: Porco Rosso, Pom Poko and Tales from Earthsea
By John Corrado
Today, Disney is releasing three Studio Ghibli films for the first time on Blu-ray, including Porco Rosso, Pom Poko and Tales from Earthsea. Following the release of The Wind Rises, Princess Mononoke and Kiki’s Delivery Service back in November, this is another fine chance for fans of the Japanese animation studio to round out their collections.
Porco Rosso: This 1992 film follows the adventures of Porco Rosso (Michael Keaton), a World War I flying ace whose head has been transformed into that of a pig, and is on the run from a group of sky pirates. With nicely animated aerial sequences and memorable music by Joe Hisaishi, as well as some interesting themes beneath the lyrical surface, Porco Rosso is an early cult classic from recently retired director Hayao Miyazaki.
The Blu-ray includes the original Japanese storyboards and trailers, as well as a featurette on the English cast and an interview with producer Toshio Suzuki.
Porco Rosso is 93 minutes and rated G.
Pom Poko: When the racoons of the natural world are being forced from their homes by developers, the creatures have to master the art of transformation, to fight the advances of civilization. Directed by Isao Takahata, 1994’s Pom Poko is a classic and comical tale of the balance between the natural and modern worlds, an underlying theme of many Studio Ghibli films.
The Blu-ray includes the original Japanese storyboards and trailers.
Pom Poko is 119 minutes and rated G.
Tales from Earthsea: This 2006 fantasy takes place in the mythical land of Earthsea, where the natural world is out of balance and dragons have reappeared, leaving powerful wizard Sparrowhawk (Timothy Dalton) and troubled young Prince Arren (Matt Levin) to search for the mysterious forces behind the imbalance. Directed by Hayao Miyazaki’s son, Goro Miyazaki, Tales from Earthsea was largely divisive upon its American release in 2010, but features some appropriately epic and sweeping hand drawn animation.
The Blu-ray includes the original Japanese storyboards and trailers, as well as two featurettes.
Tales from Earthsea is 115 minutes and rated PG.