September 2002

September 28, 2002 R2 "Laputa" DVD English Track Not From Disney
Robert Atendido wrote in with this news about the R2 DVD (He picked up a copy at a retail shop in Japan):

I've been watching it today, switching back and forth between Japanese and English soundtracks, and I'm a bit confused. The English soundtrack doesn't seem to be the Disney one, as far as I can tell. The voice of Pazu definitely doesn't sound like James Van Der Beek, unless they radically pitched his voice up. Also, as far as I can tell, the music is the same between the two soundtracks. I saw a copy of the video about a year ago, and it seems that the music on the English DVD track is the same, synth-heavy score. Finally, the English soundtrack is monaural.

Given the significant music changes by Joe Hisaishi for the Disney version, it's unlikely someone could confuse the Disney dub with the older non-Streamline dub.

Update: Robert used the Hisaishi Diary against the DVD and wrote:

From the Production diary:
"March 31

"We are now at the scene where Sheeta and Muska go into the center of Laputa.... [The Americans] wanted some dramatic music to express this mysterious feeling."

On the R2 DVD release: No music.

"April 2

"The last climax! It's the scene where Laputa collapses as Pazu and Sheeta say the forbidden spell. While a children's choir sang the theme acappella in the original, the piece now has the orchestra sounds."

R2 DVD: Acappella children's choir only.

"April 19

"Today, we recorded two pieces. For the opening scene where Tiger Moth flies the night sky, we used "Kena (or "Quena"), a South American pipe.

R2 DVD: No music until the attack begins.

September 27, 2002 How "Spirited Away" Ended Up in English
Animation World Magazine has an interview with the husband and wife team responsible for adapting "Spirited Away" into English.

Choice quote:

"We worked pretty much 24-hours a day on it. It was a grueling affair."

Thanks to Andrew Osmond for posting the link to the MML.

September 26, 2002 "El Viaje de Chihiro" Release Date and Poster (and word from Norway)
After a few delays, "El Viaje de Chihiro" is now scheduled for release in Spain on October 18, 2002.

El Viaje de Chihiro Poster

Full Poster Image (Mirror)

Thanks to Kodamama for the news and poster.

Geir Friestad informed the MML about the film's situation in Norway:

The Norwegian distribution rights have been bought from Wild Bunch by Filmpool - a cooperation consisting of three film festivals and the government-owned film distributor Arthaus. The film will be touring the three festivals first, before entering regular theatrical distribution, most likely around February 2003.

The three festivals are:

Films From the South: Oslo, October 11 - 20, 2002

Bergen International Film Festival: Bergen, October 17 - 23, 2002

Tromsų International Film Festival: Tromsų, January 14 - 19, 2003

September 24, 2002 Sneak Preview of "Spirited Away" in Dallas
There will be a preview screening of Spirited Away in Dallas, Texas on Monday evening Sept 30th at the Angelika Theater (East Mockingbird at Central Expressway). Tickets for this screening will be given out on a first-come first-serve basis starting at 7 pm Thursday Sept 26 at Keith's Comics 5400 E. Mockingbird Ln. #120 (next to Jason's Deli) 214-827-3060

September 24, 2002 Rave Reviews for "Spirited Away"
The collective reviews at Rotten Tomatoes and MetaCritic show "Spirited Away" as one of the most highly rated movies in those sites history. Both sites act as a clearinghouse for reviews from around the nation.

Our Impressions page carries reviews of the Japanese dub.

Thanks to the many people who wrote in.

September 24, 2002 "Spirited Away" Opening Box Office Results
From Box Office Guru:

The Japanese animated blockbuster Spirited Away sparkled in its North American debut grossing $449,839 from only 26 theaters for a vibrant $17,302 average. Buena Vista released Japan's highest-grossing film in ten major markets this weekend and looks to add another ten next weekend as it continues its steady rollout.

September 20, 2002 Updated: R1 "My Neighbor Totoro" DVD
Reports have surfaced about a DVD release of "My Neighbor Totoro" by Fox.

Peter Petto passed along this message to the MML:

Greetings from!

You've previously signed up to be notified when "My Neighbor Totoro" (DVD) became available, and we're happy to inform you that it is now available to pre-order!

If you would like to pre-order this item now, just follow the link below:

We'll keep trying to get an official confirmation, but is generally reliable.

Why is the DVD coming from FOX instead of Disney? This Boston Globe article states: ''Totoro,'' perhaps the jewel in Ghibli's crown, is still available on a pre-Disney-deal tape (it reverts to the Mouse in 2004).

September 20, 2002 Welcome Readers
So you want to know more about "Spirited Away"? Start with our "Spirited Away" Theaters page which lists all the locations playing the film this Friday (20th). Theaters playing the film on the 27th and further on are being added as information becomes availiable. October 4 is the date the film will expand to cities not around the initial September 20th group.

For general information (mostly spoiler free) about the film visit the main "Spirited Away" page. The press kit contains a good amount of background information.

Want the DVD? Beware the many bootlegs, our Video page contains the official releases for this and other Studio Ghibli works.

Enjoy your stay.

September 19, 2002 Complete "Spirited Away" Opening Schedule
Thanks to Tiffany Paul of Around Media for sending in the locations opening on September 20 and 27. All showings for September 20 are located in the "Spirited Away" Theaters page.

The following locations are opening on September 27, the theaters and additional details will be added to the Theaters page in the coming days:

KIPS BAY, Manhattan
86TH ST. EAST, Manhattan
PAVILION, Brooklyn, NY
MIDWAY, Forest Hills, NY
FARMINGDALE 14, Farmingdale, NY
WESTCHESTER 10, Hawthorne, NY
LOEWS ROUTE 4, Paramus, NJ (Tentative)
EDGEWATER 16, Edgewater, NJ
EAST HANOVER 12, East Hanover, NJ
CLAIRIDGE, Montclair, NJ
WHITE FLINT, Kensington, MD
MONICA, Santa Monica, CA
GALLERIA, Sherman Oaks, CA
AMC PROMENADE, Woodland Hills, CA

Don't see your city? More theaters will start screenings on October 4.

September 17, 2002 Miyazaki at Pixar and El Capitan Reports
The Black Moon sent in their report from the press Q&A with Miyazaki held after a screening at the El Capitan Theater. The questions are more interesting than those from the general audience Q&A.

Warner Young of No-Name Anime pointed out their write-up of Miyazaki's visit to Pixar.

September 15, 2002 "Spirited Away" Clips, featurette at Yahoo! Movies
Yahoo! Movies has set up a trailers page for "Spirited Away." In addition to the English trailer, it has several clips from the English version of the movie, as well as a 5 minute featurette on the production of the dub. The featurette includes appearances by the English voice talent as well as the producer and director.

Click here to visit the page.

September 15, 2002 Additional "Spirited Away" (and Mononoke) European Dates/Details
Pieter Dirkx sent in this correction to the Belgium information:

The version premiering on September 25th is the french version only, the English and Japanese versions will be premiering on october 12th on the F.A.C.T.S. convention (an anime-and manga convention in Belgium)

Nemo Pohle passed along the release dates for Switzerland and Germany:

Title: Spirited Away
Release Date: 30.01.2003 (German Version), 10.04.2002 (Italian Version)
Distributor: Monopole Pathe Films (

In Germany the film is distributed by Constantin Film (
It is scheduled for early 2003, but no exact date has been given.

Tina Subic wrote in to say that "Princess Mononoke" is receiving a theaterical release in Slovenia on December 5th.

September 13, 2002 Sneak Preview in Washington DC
Brian Tootle sent in the following details:

This movie will be screened September 16th, 7:30 PM at:
AMC Mazza Gallerie
5300 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20015

While supplies last, you can get your preview tickets at:

Jerry's Subs And Pizza
11421 Rockville Pike
Rockville Pike and Nicholson Lane
301 984 3880

Get your free tickets by visiting The Healthy Back Store located at
6820 Wisconsin Avenue Bethesda, MD
while supplies last! Visit them Mon-Sat,
10am-8pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm or call 301-986-9645 for more information.

Jack Diamond Morning Show 107.3
- Passes to MIX 107.3's Special Advance Screening of Walt Disney Studios' Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" on Monday, September 16th, 7:30pm at AMC Mazza Gallerie.

Tickets do not guarantee seating.
Seating is done on a First Come First Served basis.

September 13, 2002 "Spirited Away" in Finland, Poland, and Belguim
Poland details:
-Distributor: Monolith
-Release date: October 30, 2002

Finland details:
-Title: Henkien piilottama
-Distributor: Cinema Mondo
-Release date: Fall 2002

Belgium details:
-Release date: September 25, 2002

Thanks to Mary for the Poland information, Antti Autio and Lasse Lehtonen for the Finland details, and jan Van de Perre for the Belgium date.

September 12, 2002 "Spirited Away" Press Kit
Click here to view the text and material included in the press kit.

September 11, 2002 What Happened to
As explained by's admin Rachael Blackman:

What happened, in essence, was that the main boot drive died badly just before everyone left for Labor Day weekend. After the main boot drive was fixed, a long-standing problem in the RAID configuration was revealed. Thanks to the help of David Passmore, almost all the data was recovered; there may still be some data loss, but I think I've now dealt with all of it.

Several directories (notably the one containing all the "Spirited Away" information) are missing files. We have backups of the files and restoration will take place throughout the week.

Thanks for your patience!

September 11, 2002 Miyazaki at the El Capitan Details
All sorts of impressions from the El Capitan screening with Miyazaki in attendance are arriving:

Larry Greenfield posted this report to the MML.

Narkspud sent in:

Mr. Miyazaki and Mr. Suzuki's appearance was great though too short. They were delightful, joking about the atmosphere at the studio, comparisons between characters in the movie and the folks at Ghibli, and fan's reactions to the movies (Mr. Miyazaki recommended seeing them all ONCE). The Q & A with the audience was a bit surreal though, with one questioner stepping up to the mike for the sole purpose of asking for an autograph (receiving nothing but grumbles from the audience and a well-deserved chiding from the moderator), another asking about several anime titles that most of us "general" animation fans didn't recognize, and a third asking a long and garbled question about dreams and inspiration that the translator couldn't decipher well enough to translate. A nice moment was when a young lady got up and thanked Mr. Miyazaki, saying she'd never seen any of his films before, and this one had moved her to tears. Started crying again right there, she did.

Anime Tourist has a section with photos from the event.

More photos from Devin.

Someone wishing to remain anonymous sent in this transcript of the Q&A session.

September 10, 2002 Seeking "Spirited Away" Showings is in the process of compiling a comprehensive theater list for "Spirited Away", but we need your help.

If you spot a theater with a confirmed showing, please send in the following information: