DVD Title
My Neighbor Totoro
International Title
My Neighbor Totoro
DVD Length Original Length
86 Minutes 86 Minutes
Company Year of Manufacture
Fox 2002
Language Subtitles
English None
Region Number of Discs
1 1
Aspect Ratio Sound
1.33:1 2.0 Surround
Extras
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Menus (English)
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Chapters (16)
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Trailers: Bushwacked, Lucas, Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog
Captures
Review

The first release of Hayao Miyazaki's famous My Neighbor Totoro to the DVD format is, unfortunately, very lacking in terms of its overall presentation, especially for a 2002 release. On the positive side, at least the video quality isn't bad, but poor audio presentation and an almost total lack of extras do little to make this a worthwhile release.


 Video:

Not a bad quality video presentation, but the full screen aspect really hurts it, considering how accustomed we have become to DVDs that contain the original aspect ratio. On the plus side, the colors here are mostly spot on, without fading or other distortions, while there is some vibrancy to them as well. The shape of the print used for the transfer also looks to be in rather good shape, save a thick yellow hued line that appears to the left of the screen (although it shouldn't be too noticeable on a TV set) and some slight grain. On the downside, the movie does appear slightly blurred and not nearly as sharp as it could have, although I guess one can be thankful that at least no edge enhancement was utilized to try and correct this.


 Audio: Star Rating

A simple and incredibly lackluster audio presentation for My Neighbor Totoro, considering the utter absence of a Japanese track. What is present is a 2.0 surround track of the film dubbed into English, which includes the title song. In its defense, overall quality of the dubbed track isn't bad, although it sounds incredibly flat without a great deal of speaker distinction for a supposed "surround" presentation, with the most of the music in particular sounding way too soft.


 Extras:

When one flips over a DVD case to look at the features and they see "Pan & Scan 1:33.1" being listed as the first, and one of the few, extras, it's a clear sign to the head to the hills as quickly as possible. As expected, this early warning rings true, as the disc is pretty much devoid of extras, unless one is excited by the unrelated trailers or grain filled menus.


 Overview: Star Rating

Bottom line, this disc might have fetched a high price once it went out of print, but now with Disney's vastly superior two disc version on the market there is no reason to check this release out. Although, sadly, the dubbed track found here is not available on the two disc release, and some aspects of the audio track here, especially the song, might be preferable over Disney's new dubbing for the feature; however, it's still hardly worth picking this release up over.

- Anthony Romero  
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