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Postby GeorgeC » August 14th, 2009, 11:25 pm

Got out of the film 20 minutes ago as I type this.

I liked it... Probably not as much as Howl's Moving Castle but it's not the downer/depressing film that Princess Mononoke was either.

It's basically a Japanese take on The Little Mermaid to be honest. The Hans Christian Andersen original, not the Disney take.

It's a sweet little film that will remind people of My Neighbor Totoro or Kiki's Delivery Service but it has that obligatory underriding environmental message Miyazaki puts in all his films now... kind of annoying, yes, but the old man isn't getting any less pessimistic in his age.

I don't expect this film will make a lot of money.

Yes, it's opening in about 4 times as many theaters as Howl's Moving Castle did but I don't see the excitement for this film to be honest. There were maybe 20 people in the 10PM showing I went to. Unless the concentration of anime/animation fans is much greater in other parts of the city, I don't think attendance was great at the other theaters, either.

The dub is fine with no really egregious performances. The kids were all pretty good in their roles. I really don't understand all the animosity directed at them to be frank. It's kind of pathetic for teens and college students to be so nasty towards kids they don't know ===> especially when they haven't seen the final film yet. I would have liked to have been able to see a subtitled version of the film but you know Disney does a pretty good job producing the English versions at any rate.

This film should do okay when it's released on DVD later in year but I doubt it will do more than pay back the costs of all those digital film copies for the time being.

It's really an art house film in the US and Disney shouldn't be expecting to make money on these films until they hit DVD/Blu ray.

There is a negative mentality towards foreign film amongst the general film audience. Anime's never been more than a cult thing in the States. The general. animation audience is a small cut of the film-going audience, too. Best to accept that and move on...

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Postby Bill1978 » August 15th, 2009, 3:29 am

I've been thinking a bit about Ponyo today. Now I'm pretty certain I won't be able to actually get to see Ponyo until it's DVD release in Australia. One of the downsides to living in the country I suppose, but GeorgeC you touch upon a thought I had today. You mention about anime being a niche/arthouse thing for America, and I was thinking today did Disney do the wrong thing advertising Ponyo as being from the director of Spirited Away and mentioning the director's name?

Here's my thinking, would more people/families head out to see this film if the trailer just presented it as an animated film and flashed up some of the big name actors. Sure people who are fans of Studio Ghibli or anime would know who made the movie, but if done well could the trailer have fooled people into thinking it was just another animated film and go and see it.

Is the Studio Ghibli connection going to turn people off from seeing it just cause it is anime?

I have my fingers crossed that Ponyo can crack the Top 10 this weekend, something that Studio Ghibli's films haven't managed to do so far.

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Postby estefan » August 15th, 2009, 7:07 am

I also saw Ponyo yesterday.

Yet another spectacular achievement from Hayao Miyazaki, Ponyo is a magical experience from start to finish, giving off a very enchanting feel. The animation is splendid to watch as each frame flows beautifully under the pencils of the Studio Ghibli artists. The little nuances of the characters are such a huge part of what makes them feel so realistic and more than simply moving drawings. The characters are well-realised in their writing as well, with the two main characters acting like actual five-year-olds and Sosuke's mother is probably the most realistic mother ever realised on film. The humour is also very good, particularly in the moments of Ponyo learning bit by bit about the human world.

The English-language voice-cast also manages to inhabit the characters, with Tina Fey being the best of the bunch. And surprisingly, Frankie Jonas and Noah Cyrus also turn in natural performances. Disney may have hired those for their sur-names, but they are surprisingly effective in their roles. Very surprising, in a good way. In conclusion, this is yet another terrific film from Miyazaki and anybody who is a fan of his work or animation in general should definitely see this.

In regards to how well, it will fare, I'm not sure. When I went to see it yesterday for a 3:45 matinee at the multiplex, the screening didn't have that many people. I know this isn't a big event film like Up or Harry Potter, but even Julie & Julia was full of people when I saw that last week. I guess he won't know how it fares until the opening weekend results.

Though, like George said, anime doesn't have a big audience in North America and unless, it has Pikachu on the poster, it's not guaranteed to be a big hit. It's also likely the reason that Speed Racer and Dragonball: Evolution bombed (well, that and the largely negative reviews, though I really liked Speed Racer).

Oh, well, Disney is still promoting Princess and the Frog heavily, so I expect that will help re-energize hand-drawn animation in North America.

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Postby eddievalient » August 15th, 2009, 11:38 am

Unfortunately, Ponyo isn't playing within 60 miles of where I live (probably not within 100 miles) so I don't have the option of seeing it on the big screen. I expected that but that doesn't make it suck any less.
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Postby GeorgeC » September 1st, 2009, 10:48 pm

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/20 ... december-8



The Japanese BD does have the English soundtrack.

It's unfortunately priced at $77 MSRP. :shock:

That's high even for a Japanese BD.

I think I'll wait a few extra months for the North American BD release!

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Postby mippa » November 28th, 2009, 11:59 am

Honestly I think it depends on the cast and the actual story. For example, it's near-impossible for me to watch anything extremely "Japanese" (like Rurouni Kenshin, Mononoke-hime, or Inu-yasha) with English audio. It distorts the feeling of the "period" and takes away from the artistic qualities.

I lived in Japan for three years and have be self-teaching since I was twelve, so I usually have no need for subtitles, though additionally I am a fast reader and have been reading subs for years.

However, I always like to watch Miyazaki, when I can, with English simply because it's refreshing to see dubs that are well-done at such a level.

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30 Years of Castle Of Cagliostro!

Postby Ben » December 15th, 2009, 8:20 am

Our new features writer Raz joins us today with his first article, a look back at Hayao Miyazaki's debut thirty years ago, the Lupin III adventure, Castle Of Cagliostro!

Though not as widely acclaimed as the Japanese director's other works, this highly entertaining action adventure movie remains one of Miyazaki's most important, influential and unique entries in his ten-movie career, which Raz celebrates here:

http://animatedviews.com/2009/an-auteur ... agliostro/

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Postby eddievalient » December 15th, 2009, 4:02 pm

Great article. Cagliostro was among the first anime I saw when I initially became a fan and it's still one of my favorite Japanese films. Coincidentally, it was another Miyazaki film, "Kiki's Delivery Service", that got me interested in anime in the first place.
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Postby EricJ » December 15th, 2009, 4:13 pm

And yes, Spielberg did reportedly praise the movie, but
A) mostly just for the opening car-chase (well, obviously :) ), and
B) it was during the Carl Macek days of Streamline Pictures in college arthouse theaters, where it was pretty much the first (G-rated) anime most people had ever seen.

Still, the Japanese did complain that Lupin, Fujiko and Zenigata were too "nice" in the movie, which they usually were in Miyazaki's versions:
As noted by the scene where Clarice gives Lupin a hug, and we see his instinctive reflex of "Must...control...hands"...And Niceness wins out anyway.

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Postby droosan » December 15th, 2009, 11:09 pm

A very nice article .. thoroughly researched! :)

The Castle of Cagliostro was released on Blu-ray in Japan about a year ago .. and it is fully playable in North American BD players! However, it contains japanese audio only; no english dub or subs.

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Postby Ben » December 16th, 2009, 7:51 am

I just liked the whole caper tone of the film, which I only saw for the first time about 18 months ago. I'm not the biggest anime fan, but I liked the characters and that they weren't too rough or edgy. It gave the film part of its 1960s knockabout charm, which is what I mostly responded to.

It's funny...I'm not a big Japanese animation follower, but then everything I do eventually wind up seeing I mostly end up enjoying! ;)

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Postby estefan » December 16th, 2009, 9:29 am

The Castle of Cagliostro is personally one of my favourite Miyazaki films. It's so incredibly funny and exciting and the action is terrific. And was I the only person who is reminded of Herge (the creator of Tintin) when watching the film?

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Re: OMG! I can't believe they found this!

Postby GeorgeC » February 8th, 2010, 11:26 pm

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents


After a long time with no news about the restored version of Fritz Lang's Metropolis the latest word is that the "restored" version debuts in Germany this upcoming Friday.

The film is on schedule for an April 2010 release on DVD and Blu ray by Kino...

There's word about this on the official Kino website.


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Re: OMG! I can't believe they found this!

Postby Dan » February 9th, 2010, 2:28 am

The restored version will be screened during the first annual TCM (Turner Classic Movies) Classic Film Festival. The Alloy Orchestra will do a live accompaniment, playing the original musical score during the film.

The festival will take place from April 22-25 in Los Angeles, though exact date and location (either the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and The Egyptian Theatre) has been announced yet.

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Re: OMG! I can't believe they found this!

Postby Whippet Angel » February 9th, 2010, 7:43 am

That's good to hear. I love this film, and I've been putting off buying the restored DVD for just this reason.

I wouldn't mind a restored DVD of Moroder's version as well. I seem to be one of the few people on Earth that actually likes it. :wink: