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"Subtitled Mononoke" E-mail Poll
learned that the upcoming
Princess Mononoke DVD, to
be released in North America on August 29, 2000, will not include
the original Japanese language track.
Buena Vista says...
Our source in Buena Vista Home Entertainment
informed us that this is at the request of the
Japanese office of Buena Vista.
The Japanese office is concerned that
a foreign-released DVD containing the Japanese language
track will allow for the importation of such a DVD to Japan,
which could seriously hurt the local sales of a future release of
Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke) DVD in the Japanese market.
The Japanese office does not think the region-encoding feature of DVD will significantly
alleviate this importation problem.
We have been informed that, if there is
sufficient interest, Buena Vista might release the sell-through Princess
in both an English-dubbed version and a widescreen version in
Japanese with English subtitles
(as they did with Kiki's Delivery Service).
We were scheduled to have a private, informal
gathering on Friday, June 30, 2000,
with a Buena Vista representative who is involved in the
video release of Princess Mononoke. In advance of this meeting,
on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 we
launched an E-mail poll to see
how many people were interested in a release,
either in the VHS or DVD format,
of Princess Mononoke in the original Japanese with English
With help from word-of-mouth referral by fans, we received
more than 1000 E-mails that
had arrived by 11pm PDT on June 28, 2000 (a further 500 arrived after that date and
were not included), and we have
presented all these E-mails to the representative.
We have also presented a cover letter that summarized
the additional comments we received in many of
the E-mails about the video release. Here are
some of the points raised in the cover letter:
all of the fans who responded were dismayed that
Japanese dialogue and English subtitles would not be included on
either the DVD or the VHS versions to be released on August 29.
of Studio Ghibli are passionate and loyal consumers who are
very respectful of the works of Studio Ghibli and plan to purchase
each film as it is released, provided that a Japanese language
version with English subtitles are included.
fans have cancelled preorders for the DVD.
fans had planned to purchase multiple copies of the VHS or DVD
for friends and family.
fans feel that the true reason for not including the
Japanese language track was to ensure higher profits
when the Region 2 / Japanese disc is released at a higher MSRP in
fans pointed out that pirated DVDs of Studio Ghibli films
have already been released without region codes and are easily
available in Asia and on Internet auction sites without obvious
action taken against them by Disney's legal department.
fans are encouraged by the possibility of a subtitled VHS
release, more fans now deem VHS to be of intolerable quality
relative to DVD and would therefore prefer to purchase a DVD with
fans generally understand that it is now difficult or
impossible to affect the current production run of unsubtitled
DVDs, we look forward to the possibility of a future
"special edition" Princess Mononoke DVD
that will include the Japanese language track,
English subtitles, and perhaps production notes and a featurette,
too - even if it costs more than the English/French only DVD.
live all across the United States and Canada.
Many also reside overseas.
are happy with the anamorphic letterbox feature.
greatly prefer DVD to VHS, and in particular,
subtitled DVD to subtitled VHS.
would in some cases purchase the English dubbed DVD now
to encourage a subtitled release later.
who make purchase decisions for video stores are well
aware of their customers' preferences and will order fewer copies
of the DVD and VHS if they do not contain the
Japanese dialogue with English subtitles.
We want to thank all the fans who voiced their
We also want to thank the Buena Vista representative
for being willing to listen to
the fans' voices.
that the poll has ended, what
can I do now to make my voice heard?
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