January 2003

January 30, 2003 Official R1 DVD Press Release
http://www.animatedbliss.com/ is the first to pick up the news from the wire.

Nothing suprising, but Disney is re-releasing the "Kiki" VHS.

January 29, 2003 UK Rights for "Spirited Away" Change Hands
From a Lee Johnson posting to the MML:

The rights to "Spirited Away" have been acquired by Optimum. The official optimum website implies a theatrical release:

"Optimum Releasing have added critically acclaimed movies Spirited Away and Igby Goes Down to their slate of forthcoming UK theatrical releases"


January 28, 2003 "Spirited Away" In Portugal and Italy
The film opens in Portugal on February 28 and in Italy on April 18. More information about the Italian release is located on the distributor's (Mikado) website.

Thanks to Giovanni Crisci, Lorenzo Tommaseoponzetta, and Luís Estrela for the news.

January 27, 2003 "Sen" Highest Rated Movie Broadcast in Japan
From a Yomiuri Online article translated on the MML by Akito T:

'Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi' recorded the highest audience rating of TV in movie broadcast field.

It became clear that the average audience rating of "Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi" on January 24 recorded 46.2% (in Kanto region). This is the highest audience rating in movie broadcast field. "Sen" became the top in this field over the record of "Kitakitsune Monogatari(broadcasted: Aug 1979 / Rating: 44.7%).

January 25, 2003 More R1 DVD Details Trickle In
Amazon.com now has the same cover images we've already seen, as well as more detail about the three upcoming R1 DVD releases. Apparently they all have original storyboards and Japanese trailers, as well as voice talent featurettes (which would account for the second disc). All also have introductions by John Lasseter, and are anamorphic wide screen. SA also has "The Art of Spirited Away" and "The Making of Spirited Away", plus you can compare the storyboards with the movie (as on the R2 DVD). All three are listed as having English, Japanese, French, and Spanish audio tracks.

Several people also wrote in with Disney's new semi-automatic response to DVD queries that mentions the April 15 release date.

January 24, 2003 Totoro in Hewlett-Packard Advertisement
Click here for a scanned copy of the advertisement, it's also on the HP website.

The ad is featured in this week's issues of eWeek and InfoWorld (and possibly other computer-related magazines).

Thanks to Tyler King for the news.

January 24, 2003 US DVD Covers Released
Zach Borden informed the MML about the R1 DVD covers at www.davisdvd.com. dvdlaunch.com also has the images. These covers might be placeholders, but provide the first physical evidence of the DVDs.

Details are sketchy, but it appears all three films include the Japanese audio track. No film subtitle details, we'll keep you posted.

January 21, 2003 Hollywood Reporter "For Your Consideration" Cover
This week's Hollywood Reporter cover is an ad for the various catagories Spirited Away is vying for nominations.

Hollywood Reporter FYC Cover

Click here for the full version

Thanks to an anonymous source for the tip.

January 21, 2003 Awards Notice
As the awards for Spirited Away pile in they're all noted on the Credits page thanks to the hard work of many contributors.

Please check the Credits page before writing in as the listing is updated as soon as we hear about a missing listing.

Not every award or critic's pick is noted on this news section but Spirited Away picked up the Critics's Choice Award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association. It's now listed as the frontrunner for the "Best Animated" Oscar at Oscarwatch.com.

January 17, 2003 "Le Chateau dans le ciel" Making the Rounds in France
The film opened in over 200 theaters on January 15, find one by clicking here.

More related information (in French) or visit the official site.

January 14, 2003 Really Confirmed: Three R1 DVDs on April 15
AICN is running an article stating that three films are scheduled for R1 DVD release in April, "Castle in the Sky", "Kiki's Delivery Service", and "Spirited Away".

This report is based upon a fax from a Disney rep, we'll try and find additional sources for confirmation.

Update: Zach B noted on the MML, "in the insert in Disney's "Country Bears" DVD (R1), it mentions Kiki being available "for the first time on DVD" in Spring 2003."

Update #2: AnimeonDVD.com received news from the Right Stuf (an anime retailer) that places the release dates for the three films on April 17, 2003.

Update #3: Several people wrote in with Amazon.com listings for the three DVDs. The release date is listed as April 15, which jives with Disney's usual Tuesday release policy.

January 14, 2003 Lupin III on Cartoon Network
The second "Lupin III" TV series is currenting airing on the Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" block. Miyazaki directed episodes #145 and #155 in the series.

Thanks to everytone who wrote in with the news.

January 13, 2003 Updated: Possible UK Release Date for "Spirited Away"
Yoav Felberbaum wrote in to point out this Amazon.co.uk link (originally spotted on the newsgroup uk.media.animation.anime) that lists the release date as February 20, 2003.

No official announcement yet from Pathe the distributor for the UK.

Update: A Pathe spokesperson confirmed they hold the rights, but stated a release date has not been determined and that the Feb. 20 date is incorrect.

January 8, 2003 Studio Ghibli Festival in Germany
A retrospective of Studio Ghibli works is taking place at the International Nights and Days of Animation of Cologne (INDAC) from February 2 - 12. Details are located on the festival's website and the 2003 Festivals page.

Johannes Wolters, director of the festivals, wrote to the MML with the following details:

I have to admit, the organisation of this event has been quite difficult. Four different firms had to be persuaded to allow the retrospective. Studio Ghibli, Wildbunch (France), Telepool and Universum Film (both at Munich,Germany).
Thanks to all the poeple who helped us there.
Only with the release of "Spirited Away" ahead of the festival, in June 2003, this event was possible.
Even so "Porco Rosso" and "The Cat returns" are not in the package, we are very glad to screen most of the films with english subtitles, Totoro, Kiki, and Whisper of the Heart will be without. In Case of Totoro and Kiki, I think, the missing subtitles will be a very minor problem, with "Whisper" it is diffewrent. We are working on a solution with Subtitles, which we try to project addtional to a space below the screen, a system, which worked very well at the cologne opera house. I prefer to screen the films in Original Version more than to miss the oppurtunity to screen them at all.

January 2, 2003 "Kiki's Delivery Service" Novel to be Released in English
The book is scheduled for release on February 1, 2003 and is available in both hardback and paperback versions.

The film by Miyazaki is loosely based on the novel.

Thanks to Geir Friestad for posting the news to the MML.