Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
on 25 May 2013
Review of the film: Masterpiece adventure, one of Miyazaki's top three. 10/10
[I personally prefer the japanese audio in all animes as american english to me isn't suited at all to asian sensibility, and this is what I review though I tested the english audio. I found Pazu's american voice to be particularly irritating and badly acted. Also note that in ten minutes soundcheck I already found some censorship, such as
"If my head were any harder, you could use it as a cannonball" for the original "My head is harder than my boss's fists". Just a side-note for die-hard fans - ignore if it's for your children, obviously]
This offering comes up in a blu-ray type box encased in a pretty sleeve. A very beautiful face is printed onto both discs. (same face for both discs)
Specs are as follows:
Blu-Ray: HD standard, 1080p, 16x9 widescreen. Audio 5.1 LPCM English, 2.0 LPCM japanese + english subtitles (subtitles white with black outline. Big enough and visible, hi-resolution) Subtitles can be turned off from the remote, though not from the menu.
DVD: Colour PAL 16x9 anapmorphic. Audio 2.0 stereo English, Japanese + english subtitles, Japanese + hard of hearing english subtitles (yellow subs, black outline, big and ugly - typewriter style, very visible) , Region 2. Subtitles can be turned off from the remote, though not from the menu.
Blu-Ray quality: Excellent. No blocks, no noise. Beautiful job, and probably as precise as the original handdrawings were themselves.
The menu is simple and very pretty (press enter while in setup to change audio to japanese, instead of up and down buttons, can be a bit confusing)
- Promotional video: not a very promising title but actually contains excerpts of interviews with Miyazaki in '86 as well as a few others in the team, so worth watching. All were very young looking. Too short
- Behind the microphone: 4 minutes of "interviews" with the american cast. Mark Hamill is the only one with anything remotely useful to say and since the whole thing is 4 minutes only, you can guess how little that is ;)
- Behind the studio. 4 interviews of about 2 minutes each, 3 of them with Miyazaki. Too short and always interesting. Mentions of the Rhondda valley, Jules Verne, Swift, and even Superman!
- The world of Laputa
- Creating Castle in the Sky
- Character sketches
- Producer's perspective: Suzuki's first meeting with Miyazaki. I don't want to give it away but I found it hilarious and is a must see
- Textless opening and ending credits: Not much in itself but they are really beautiful and artistic and are really worth watching without the stream of text to detract. The opening credits remind a lot of Terry Gilliam.
- Original japanese trailers
-Studio Ghibli collection trailers
The credits and menus are mediocre quality, blurry with visible interlacing artifacts and noise around the text, and I was fearing the worst but the actual film is in fact a very good quality for a DVD. There is no blocking and it's quite crisp, (for a DVD, of course). Only motion sequences feel blurry, though of course there are a lot of them. But they've made a real effort to present something decent.
The bonuses are as follows:
- textless credits (see above)
- Original trailers
- Ghibli trailers
- Alternative angle storyboards
- "history of Castle in the Sky", consisting of 2 minutes of watching drawings and final designs on a musical background.
All in all I feel this is a very good quality product, and care and love has been lavished onto it to restore and enhance the image. I recommend buying it, if only to ensure that Ghibli will carry on producing quality blu-rays by showing our support.