July 2002

July 28, 2002 Reports from Anima Mundi 2002 (São Paulo)
Two reports of the commotion caused by a free screening of "Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi", first by João Solimeo:

The problem was that I couldn't see it! There was a long line, probably with more than 1,500 people in it and they were going to show it only once, July 27, at 8 PM. Because of the number of people, they did another showing at 10 PM and even at midnight. (and I still couldn't get a ticket).

Roger sent in an article (in Portuguese)

They say in the interview, that the exibition was free, and the cinema started to distribute the tickets earlier cause the big amount of people, more or less 4:30 pm(the exibition was programed to 8:00 pm).There was a bunch of people, sorrounding the whole block, and the organizers of the festival, had to make two more extra sessions(10:00 pm and 0:00 am), to attend the big quantity of people(it was suppost to be only one session). The team of the Heroi site, had to stay in the column/file/queue/row(i dn't know the excatly word for "fila" in english)for more than 3 hours to watch the movie. Ah, Europa Filmes(Europe Movies) will release Spirited Away in the whole Brazil circuit of cinemas, in the begining of 2003.

July 26, 2002 The Final Word on the "Sen" DVD?
Per Andersson passed along another message from CD Japan:

Dear Customer,


Buena Vista Home Entertainment Japan has posted an official statement on their website in answer to the inquiries concerning some technical issues on "Spirited Away" DVD/VHS. We have tried our best to present a faithful translation of the text.

We have received some inquiries on the coloration of "Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi" on DVD and VHS released on July 19, 2002. With this announcement, we'd like to clarify the matter by providing the following explanation.

"Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)" is a digitally-animated movie produced by Studio Ghilbli, and its full-digital frames were designed and produced on computers. The coloration of the master for the DVD and VHS was strictly supervised/approved by Studio Ghibli's color designers and DP/Cinematographer.

The "Spirited Away" DVD/VHS was produced through an entirely novel procedure in mastering, and both Studio Ghibli and Buena Vista Home Entertainment Japan believe the quality of the DVD/VHS to be the best and the most faithful in terms of reproducing the original movie under the given circumstances.

As for the trailers on Disc 2, they have been included solely for the purpose of providing necessary information on the film, and because of this nature, it was not specifically color-corrected. Consequently, some differences in coloration may be detected between the same scene on the trailers on Disc 2 and the main feature on Disc 1.

We assure the highest standard of quality control has been maintained on the manufacturing of both DVD and VHS, but differences in coloration may be detected depending on the type of equipment and/or the settings of the system being used.
According to what we have been told, there will not be any further announcement regarding this matter.

We apologize for interrupting you with total of two e-mails related to the DVD.

Toshi Makiya

July 25, 2002 "Spirited Away" Release Poster (Updated)
Ain't It Cool News has the release poster for the North American release of "Spirited Away".

Click here to view.

Thanks to Michael Howe for the news.

Update: Lee Johnson notes that the James Cameron quote at the top of the picture is recycled. The poster might be a fan creation passed off as the official poster.

July 24, 2002 Even More "Sen" DVD News
Robert Vaughan sent in this message from www.ld-dvd.com:

For your inquiry to these technical issues on "Spirits Away" DVD, we have made official inquiries to both Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Studio Ghbli, to which they answered as follows:

Buena Vista Home Entertainment and its source said, "Spirits Away" and its cell frames are designed and produced with full-digital composite. Making and striking the master for the dvd was strictly supervised by the studio and Director of Photography. Therefore they believe the quality contained in the dvd and video is the best one they could get under the given circumstances.

Studio Ghbli said that they did not use the data that was used in theatrical releasing prints of the film, but they used the newly mastered DVD/Video digital data in consideration with the fact that the DVD should be played on Liquid Crystal TV or Plasma TV, so should be no problem for its quality. As for the trailers on the DVD, it might not be color corrected for the DVD format so it might slightly be different from what you see in the DVD feature it they are the same scene.

As you see, those people responsible for the creation of the DVD said they themselves were supervising the color correction and decided it should be OK. We cannot do anything about it.

Hope this could help you understand and clear up the doubt that you have right now.

July 23, 2002 More on "Sen" and Color
CD Japan sent all customers an email detailing the situation with "Sen":

Dear Customer,

Thank you for purchasing Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) DVD from CDJapan.


A few days since the release of this product, we became aware of the rumor that this DVD might have too much reddish tint to the picture, although there was no information earlier that this product might suffer from such condition.

While we have not been able to verify this possible problem and how widespread it is, we have learned that the publisher, Buena Vista Japan, has begun to investigate the matter after they received the reports to that effect.

At this point, they have not made any announcement regarding the possibility of providing replacements, or if in fact, they're planning to manufacture copies of the same title without the purported condition. Unless the publisher carried out the latter, no replacement will solve the problem.

Consequently, we will not be able to provide any conclusive solution until we hear from the publisher as to what the result of their investigation turned out to be, and more importantly how they would resolve it.

Meanwhile, one of my CDJapan colleagues who purchased this item also noticed a slightly stronger red tint to the picture. What he did was to adjust the picture controls on the TV monitor like color and tint/hue, and by adjusting tint levels after color is adjusted (by moving the color direction red-opposite, i.e. toward green) he got a more satisfactory picture on the monitor. Since most televisions have picture controls like color, tint, RGB, etc, while DVD players and VCRs don't, and some variation is normal, this might provide a temporary solution to this sort of picture problems you might encounter.

As soon as more accurate information is available, we will notify you again by e-mail.

Thank you for your patience, until then.

Thanks to all the people who forwarded us the message.

July 22, 2002 Viz to Publish "Spirited Away" Books
The entire press release

Viz Communications is publishing English translations of the following:

Details for all releases are located on the "Spirited Away" Books page.

Thanks to Carl Gustav Horn of Viz Comics for sending in the press release and cover scans.

July 20, 2002 "Sen" DVD Color Issue
FUKUMOTO Atsushi reported on the MML:

I haven't obtained the DVD myself, but many people on the net are reporting that the picture of DVD has extreme red tint. . . Many viewers think it is simply unacceptably bad quality.

The R3 (Taiwan) release also has a reddish overtone to the picture. As more people receive their DVDs in the coming days more information is sure to surface.

For those curious about the amount of tinting on the DVD, Daniel Boudreault sent in this screen capture taken directly from the DVD.

Oliver Ho spotted
this article (in Japanese) that says:

Theatre presentaion was for DLP, the DVD uses a new colors....."

LCD/Plasma DVD has different colour specs, so Miyazaki decided on the new colour tones

Noah Selsby feels the color issue isn't as bad as some fear.

July 15, 2002 "Laputa" and "Porco Rosso" English Dubbing
It's been almost taken for granted that Streamline Pictures (and Carl Macek) were responsible for the English dubs of "Laputa" and "Porco Rosso". However, Fred Patten of Streamline Pictures wrote in to correct the error reported in each film's FAQ:

"Streamline Pictures theatrically distributed an English-dubbed print of Laputa from March 24, 1989 for the next year, but Streamline never dubbed it. Streamline licensed Laputa from Tokuma Shoten in late 1988 or early 1989, and was sent a print from Japan that had already been dubbed into English for use as an in-flight movie by Japan Air Lines on its trans-Pacific flights. We have no idea who actually dubbed it.

The only two Studio Ghibli features that Streamline Pictures dubbed itself were My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service. We also have no idea who did the English-language dubbing of Porco Rosso."

July 15, 2002 Studio Ghibli on Vacation
As reported by several people on the Miyazaki Mailing List, Studio Ghibli is going on vacation until February 2003.

Mike Arnold wrote, "This was actually reported at the end of the Neko no Ongaeshi special that aired on NTV yesterday afternoon. Suzuki said that since the staff has been working so hard he wants everyone to 'take a break' and then come back to the studio healthy and refreshed in six months, in time for Miyazaki's new project."

July 10, 2002 "Neko no Ongaeshi" Completed
According to Sports Nippon and other newspapers, the production of "Neko no Ongaeshi," to be released on July 20 in Japan, is completed, and there was a press conference.

Miyazaki-San didn't attend the press conference, but according to the article, he applauded after he saw the film, and said "Good job."

Articles are in Japanese, but you can see pictures of voice actors and the director at:


July 9, 2002 "Sen" at the Anima Mundi Festival in Brazil
"Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi" (Japanese audio with Portuguese subtitles) will be shown twice during the festival: