Princess Mononoke -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A

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  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: C
  • Extras Rating: C
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: Optimum Asia
  • MSRP: £18.59
  • Running time: 130
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke

    January 10, 2002

Princess Mononoke
© Optimum Asia

What They Say
Claire Daines (The Mod Squad), Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting) and Billy Bob Thornton (Armageddon, Sling Blade) head a cast of hot Hollywood stars who lend their talents to this exquisitely animated, highly acclaimed epic adventure. Inflicted with a deadly curse, a young warrior named Ashitaka (Billy Crudp-Without Limits) sets out to the forests of the west in search of the cure that will save his life. Once there, he becomes inextricably entangled in a bitter battle that matches Lady Eboshi (Driver) and a proud clan of humans against the forest's animal gods...who are led by the brave Princess Mononoke (Danes), a young woman raised by wolves. Also starring Gillian Anderson (The X-files) and Jada Pinket Smith (Scream 2), this monumental struggle between man and nature will have you transfixed with amazement as stunning artistry blends with epic storytelling to create a uniquely entertaining motion picture.

The Review!
Princess Mononoke is truly astonishing film. When I first saw it couple of years ago from a laserdisc without any subtitles, I was just watching my mouth open and eyes popping out.
The English trailer in the end of the disc provided much needed information what actually had happened in the film. Take to almost present, I saw this film subtitled from VCD. And again I was amazed. Now I got my hands on the DVD and I was disappointed.

First thing is that the cover lies about the tracks. It says French 5.1, but there isn't such track selectable on the menu or during the movie. You can't actually change the track during the movie, you have to go back to the menu screen and change from there. There also isn't French subtitles, so the cover lies again. There's only dubtitles and English for the hearing impaired (CC). These two subtitle tracks only differ that the later one has sounds displayed on it {cracking sound] etc. I really don't like the dubtitles, because people say things they are not supposed to say.
Now for the transfer, it rocks. The picture is crystal clear, the colors look vibrant and there's no problems overall. Also with sweet PAL, it plays really nice.

The cover is slightly different from the R1 one, but it just screams with the American actor names too loudly. Ack. Plus the backside says the DVD has things that it doesn't have (French dub, French subtitles). It could have been much better, maybe with Mononoke Hime in Japanese on the cover.

The extras are also Americanized. There's interviews with the dub actors and director of dub actors and Neil Gaiman. They basically just praise Miyazaki and how the animation looks so cool. The only good part was when they shoved a clip where the film still are drawn at Studio Ghibli. The trailer is different from the original English trailer that was on the LD and they basically just boost around with the dub actors.

What really makes me angry is that nowhere is actually mentioned that this a Japanese film made by Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki's name gets mentioned couple of times, but that's it.
I can only blame Miramax, as the original plans were to release the disc dub only.

I can only recommend this disc if you don't have any options, but I'd recommend getting the Japanese R2. More extras, no dubtitles and 3 discs.

Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1,English Dolby Digital 5.1,English subtitles (dubtitles),English for the hearing impaired (dubtitles),Color: PAL,Original Theatrical Trailer (US made),Behind The Scenes Featurette (dub voice actors etc)

Review Equipment
Shinco DVD-868 Multiregion Panasonic 28" Yamaha amplifier with 5.1 speakers


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