Aliens & SDF
Staff of Toho
| Princess Mononoke
Length: 133 minutes
|Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
|Region: 1||Discs: 1|
| || |
|Japanese (5.1 Surround),
English (5.1 Surround), French (5.1 Surround)
||Trailers: Princess Mononoke
||Featurette (5 minutes)
Released just as Anime started to really boom
in the United States, this DVD presents one
of the more acclaimed movies in the genre
and the first mega blockbuster from Hayao
Miyazaki. Produced in 2000, this disc shows
its age today but is still decent, to be slightly
kind to it, as it has a so-so video presentation
mixed with great audio and hardly any extras.
As a relatively early release to DVD,
the video track shows its age in how it was
created. On the plus side, the colors here
are often vibrant and in some scenes really
stand out wonderfully. However, the coloring
in other segments feels off, often being with
a slight tint of magenta rather than a more
natural color scheme. Outside of this, the
print is in pretty good condition. There is
some minor shaking present on the Japanese
title screen, but otherwise looks good save
for a few minor scratches. The real downfall,
though, is the artifacting, as the video track
has been noticeably compressed. It's a variable
bitrate, as some scenes
look good, while others are horribly
compressed and suffer for it.
Interesting to note, this DVD is also presented
with the full English and Japanese titles.
Depending on which audio track is selected,
the movie will automatically swap out the
title, end credits and other scenes so they
correspond with their particular version.
For example, here is the English
title card. It's a well done process,
switching from the shared video to the unique
Princess Mononoke is presented in
its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and is
Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.
Miramax supplied this disc with a pretty good
selection of audio options. First up is the
English dubbed track that Miramax created
for its limited theatrical release. It's a
star studded team of voice actors creating
the track, which would pave the way for similar
treatment being done for the other Miyazaki
films. Next up is the original Japanese audio
track, and finally rounding out the list is
a French one as well for a total of three.
The audio is presented in 5.1 surround, which
sadly could have been more robust in how it
presented the audio directionality but is
still pretty good. As a downside, the audio
can't be changed during the movie, meaning
one has to exit to the main menu if they want
to change from a dubbed track to the Japanese,
The audio can be accompanied by, removable,
English subtitles with two sets: one that
applies to the Japanese audio and the other
for the English dubbed.
This disc is very light on extras, although
this was easier to overlook back during its
release when most Japanese films were given
the barebones treatment. In total, this disc
has two extras: a Featurette and a trailer.
The Featurette is a short, five minute video
that covers the dubbing process for the English
version of the movie. It provides some cast
interviews and is decent, if a little short.
The other extra is a trailer that sadly is
the slightly cheesy one that Miramax created
for their release, complete with flipped scenes
and awkwardly speeded up footage.
line, this DVD was great when it was first
released, but hasn't aged gracefully compared
to more recent titles on the format. A more
complete release, with better video and more
extras, would be nice although this is still
a pretty good DVD for those who just want
to watch the movie.
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