March 2003

March 31, 2003 "Spirited Away" Poland Release Details
Eric Wolfe writes in from Warsaw:

I have seen definite signs that Spirited Away is going to get a general release here in Poland. Attached is the photo I took at a major Warsaw multiplex chain theater yesterday. I also saw still photos up on their "coming soon" board. I have seen some posters up around town, but there are no dates or locations on them.

The largest national newspaper's site(,23804,,,,5460579,P_FILMY2.html) shows that the premier will be on April 4, 2003, which is backed up by the distributor's web site (

Polish poster thumbnail

March 28, 2003 "Spirited Away" DVD Release Date Still April 15
We have received official word from Disney that the home video release of Spirited Away will not be delayed and will be released on April 15th as planned.

This creates the interesting situation of the film in simultaneously playing in theaters and being sold on DVD/VHS.

March 28, 2003 Why Nobody Accepted the "Spirited Away" Oscar
Since Miyazaki never intended to attend the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, producer Toshio Suzuki was going to attend in his place. However, he changed his plans the week before as the Iraqi war broke out. So fans were upset that Disney had no one there at the ceremony to accept the Oscar when Spirited Away won. After some digging and questioning, we have found out the reason. This year the Academy (probably in an effort to streamline the show) set a rule that only the person whose name was on the ballot could go on stage to accept the award. Only Miyazaki's name was on the offical ballot. Even if Suzuki had been present, he would not have been allowed to go on stage and would had to settle for holding the statue for the photgraphers after the ceremony.

March 28, 2003 Updated: "Spirited Away" TV Commercials

March 26, 2003 "Spirited Away" DVD Delay Possible
In a good news/bad news situation, Jack Matthews of the New York Daily News reports:

"[Walt Disney Chairman Dick] Cook said that if "Spirited Away" finds an audience, Disney may postpone the its video/DVD release from its scheduled date, April 15."

Spirited Away Theater Listing

Thanks to Zach for posting the news to the MML.

March 24, 2003 Updated: "Spirited Away" Back in US Theaters
A Disney press release confirms that the film is heading back to theaters this Friday (March 28).

Please send us the relevant details so we can keep the "Spirited Away" Theater Listing page up to date.

For the Japanese-enabled:

Thanks to Arron for the link.

March 24, 2003 Reaction in Japan from "Spirited Away" Oscar Win
Translated from

Joe Hisaishi (Music):
"Considering the quality of this movie, I think this is a natural result. Even if this movie won Best Foreign Language Film or Best Picture it would not be surprising, because this is a masterpiece with epic scale and a profound story over the shell of Anime. If I were to choose five maestros of the film art, I think one of them would be Mr. Miyazaki."

Yumi Kimura (Main theme song singer and composer):
"I'm very glad. I have long believed that the view of the world through Miyazaki's animation inspires people from all cultures and lifestyles. I was praying that this movie would be watched by a much larger audience. Now it's possible that the prayer would come true, with the recognition provided by this internationally renowned award."

Rumi Hiiragi (Voice actress of Chihiro):
"It's very pleasing that people have appreciated the magnificence of the movie not only across Japan but also overseas including in the United States. When I won a prize in the voice actor section of 'Animation Fair' last year, Director Miyazaki blessed me. Now it is my turn to say 'Congratulations!'."

Comments from Miyazaki are translated in this Japan Today article.

Thanks to Akito T for the translations and Mic for the editing.

March 23, 2003 Updated: "Spirited Away" wins Best Animated Feature Film Academy Award (with Video Clip)
"Spirited Away" won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.

Goro Miyazaki (Hayao Miyazaki's son) and Suzuki discussing the film.

News flash report from the Yomiuri Shinbun.

Report on Anime News Network.

Thanks to Akito T for posting the links to the MML. Thanks to Robert Vincenz for the video clip.

March 20, 2003 "Castle in the Sky" and "Spirited Away" R1 DVD Thoughts
Castle in the Sky

Slim extras, but the film portion is not lacking in any sense.

Spirited Away

Oodles of extras, both the NTV and Disney produced documentaries are quite good,

March 19, 2003 "Spirited Away" receives Christopher Award
"Spirited Away" won a Christopher Award for "Affirming the highest values of the human spirit."

Official site for the Christopher Awards.

Awards from around the world can be found on the Credits page.

March 18, 2003 "Spirited Away" Italian Release Date
The film (titled "La cittą incantata" in Italian) is scheduled for theatrical release in Italy on April 18, 2003 and is distributed by Mikado.

Thanks to Rosario Scollo and femanue for the news.

March 18, 2003 "Neko no Ongaeshi" DVD Announced!
According to the Japanese media news site AV Watch, the Neko no Ongaeshi DVD will be released July 4, 2003. The DVD will include the Ghiblies Episode 2 short. The DVD will be the typical 2-disc package used on all recent Ghibli DVD releases. Price: 4700 yen.

March 18, 2003 Updated: "Kiki's Delivery Service" R1 DVD Reviews
Disney has begun distributing review copies to various parties and a review flood will hit in the next few days.

Mike Toole jumps first with his review at Anime Jump.

Thoughts on the DVD:

R1 Subtitles
R3 Subtitles

March 18, 2003 "Spirited Away" R1 DVD Tint Comparison
The main feature disc is tint free, but the selected storyboards are not:

Spirited Away R1 DVD No Tint
Main Feature
Spirited Away R1 DVD Tint

March 17, 2003 Golden Trailer Award
"Spirited Away" won the Golden Trailer award for best trailer in the family/animation category. This is the fourth year for the awards.

Official site for the Golden Trailer awards.

Awards from around the world can be found on the Credits page.

Thanks to Just_Plain_Onion for the news.

March 12, 2003 Updated: "Spirited Away" R1 DVD First Look
IGN DVD put up six screenshots from the various menu options of the "Spirited Away" DVD.

Thanks to Andrew Beckett for posting the news to the MML.

IGN DVD continues to roll out DVD material with several screenshot comparisons between the R1 and R2 DVDs. A full review is scheduled for release tomorrow.

March 11, 2003 "Spirited Away" UK Release Date Narrowed Down
Tim Kirk forwarded this message from Optimum (the film's distributor in the UK):

Thank you for your emails - I was going to come back to you once we had set a date for the film which will be September or October, depending on the Oscar situation and the pattern for Finding Nemo.

The release will be around 50 prints, and will take in a mix of independent and key high st sites, we are thrilled to have the film and see it as our most important release of this year.

We will be releasing the film in both versions [Japanese and English dubs] on DVD in 2004.

I will have our publicity department contact you with regard to accessing the Miyazaki fans in the UK.

March 3, 2003 US DVDs with Literal Subtitles
Disney has registered a new easier-to-remember URL:

It forwards to the Miyazaki section on the main Disney site (Flash required).

The DVD information pages state that the upcoming DVD releases ("Spirited Away", "Castle in the Sky", "Kiki's Delivery Service" will incude literal English subtitles.

Thanks to Jon Turner for the news.