DVD Title
  Princess Mononoke
International Title
 Princess Mononoke
Movie Length: 133 minutes Original Length: 133 minutes
Company: Miramax Release: 2000
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic: No
Region: 1Discs: 1
Language/Sound: Order
Japanese (5.1 Surround), English (5.1 Surround), French (5.1 Surround)
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (25)
· Trailers: Princess Mononoke (Miramax)
· Featurette (5 minutes)
Anthony Romero

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 segments.

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, for example.

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.

 Extras: Star Rating

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.


Bottom 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.