(aka "Majo no takkyubini" )

 

directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Japan 1989

Kiki, a witch-in-training, is now 13 years old and according to tradition, she must leave home to find a town in which to practice her magic. Putting her special powers of flying to good use, she sets up a Special Delivery Service. However, her biggest challenge comes when she has lost the power to fly on her broom. She must do some soul-searching and re-discover her flying 'spirit' to save the life of a friend in a dramatic rescue before the entire town...

Kevin Yip

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 29, 1989

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC vs. Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Kevin Yip and Henrik Sylow for the Screen Caps!

(Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

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Distribution

Buena Vista

Region 1 - NTSC

Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong)
Region 3 - NTSC
Optimum
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:44:21 1:42:53 1:44:19
Video

1.82:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.18 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.74:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.34 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.83:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 9.50 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Buena Vista

 

Bitrate:

 

Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong)

 

Bitrate:

 

Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection)

 

Audio 5.1 Dolby Digital Japanese, 5.1 Dolby Digital English (dub)

2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese, 5.1 Dolby Digital Cantonese (dub)

2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese, 2.0 Dolby Digital English (dub)

Subtitles English (translated), English (HoH), None English, Chinese (Traditional), None English (translated), English (HoH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Buena Vista

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.82:1

Edition Details:
• Disc 1
• English Version (1:44:21)
• Japanese Version (1:42:56)
• Introduction by John Lasseter (0:51)
• Behind the Microphone (5:00)
•  Japanese trailers (10:07, all with English subtitles)
• ...
• Disc 2
• Complete storyboards only (no subtitles)

DVD Release Date: April 15, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 16
 

Release Information:
Studio: Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.74:1

Edition Details:
•  Complete storyboards and film on alternate angles
• - Cantonese 5.1 audio track, no subtitles
•  Japanese trailers (08:12, all in Japanese, no subtitles)
• A closer look of Ursula's painting (2:29)
• Brief montage of Studio Ghibli films (1:31)
• Japanese trailer for
• Japanese trailer for

 

DVD Release Date: April 15, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Optimum

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.83:1

Edition Details:
• Alternative Storyboard (subtitled)
• Ursula's Painting (2:27 / 4:3)
• Original Trailers (7:35 / 4:3)
• Studio Ghibli Trailers

 

DVD Release Date: February 27, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 18

 

Comments:

Comments by Kevin Yip
The Hong Kong R3 disc is the non-bootlegged, officially-licensed edition from distributor Intercontinental Video Limited. It was first released as a DVD-5 edition that had a vastly inferior video transfer. A DVD-9 edition was subsequently released with re-mastered video, with the result reportedly virtually identical to the Japanese R2 DVD edition. All my screenshots were of the DVD-9 edition. Screenshots of the DVD-5 edition can be found at UK site dvdtimes.co.uk.

All my screenshots below were captured with WinDVD 4. The IVL disc looks a bit softer than the R1 Buena Vista disc. But on the BV disc, edge enhancements are quite noticeable, and some compression artifacts are also noticeable on closer looks. IVL's transfer, however, was made from an interlaced video source, whereas a progressive source was used for the BV disc. The difference can be seen in the 4th main screenshot comparison below (where Kiki is attacked by birds), where the IVL disc shows the "double image" that usually results when interlaced video is being de-interlaced by the decoder. With a progressive video source like the one used for the BV disc, de-interlacing would (or should) produce a solid image.

Neither disc has true, literal English subtitles translated from the Japanese dialogs. Both discs have English subtitles based on the English dub track made by Carl Macek of Streamline Pictures. The IVL disc also has Traditional Chinese subtitles based on the Cantonese dub track. The BV disc also has "English subtitles for the hearing impaired" and English closed captioning, both based on the 1998 Buena Vista English dub directed by Jack Fletcher.

The English dub by Jack Fletcher is what is used for the English audio track on the BV disc. The voice acting is fine, but not outstanding. The score and sound effects were altered a bit in certain places. One instance in particular: on the Japanese track, the Kiki theme music starts playing when Jeff the dog walks back into the house, and it continues playing until Kiki hugs the baker, punctuating a perfect day for Kiki. On the English dub track, however, the Kiki theme begins after the dog walks to the house, and ends before Kiki hugs the baker. The two theme songs were replaced with English counterparts, which have similar rhythm and tempo to the originals. Also, there are a few mind-boggling instances on all the audio tracks where the sound effects seem a bit out of sync with the picture (especially at the moment when Kiki slaps her broomstick before her first flight). On the IVL disc all the audio tracks are in sync.

More irritating is the fact that while the English dub version of the BV disc is playing, the video quality would suddenly drop to VHS quality whenever on-screen English characters are shown: during the opening credits, the closing credits, and in three more instances during the film. Apparently, inferior video source had to be used for these scenes in the English version. The last screenshot comparison indicates this drop in quality. In one absurd instance, there is a three-minute duration of poor video quality, during which the English characters only appear for a few seconds! On the bit rate diagram above, you can actually see where these take place. For reasons unknown to me, the jumps to inferior picture occur where the bit rate graph goes "off the chart." The picture quality of the Japanese version always looks good, however. This wouldn't be so irritating if we were allowed to watch the Japanese version while listening to the English dub. But such an option is locked from the user, as is the option to change subtitles on the fly.

The IVL Disc 2 has complete storyboard-and-film comparison presented in alternate angles, while the BV Disc 2 presents storyboards only.

Comments by Henrik Sylow
As the film was presented theatrically as 1.85:1, neither Buena Vista nor Optimum is cropped, but IVL opened up the matte to add more frame information top/bottom with its 1.74:1 AR.

The IVL is softer than Buena Vista / Optimum, and displays mosquito noise, color banding and mis-colourations. Comparing Buena Vista with Optimum, both display similar compression artifacts, as mosquito noise, but Optimum to a lesser degree. Optimum also have a more defined image, most likely due to added contrast. Optimum does display ghosting.

Optimum has the advantage, that their story board presentation has the same sound and subtitle options as the feature itself.

 



DVD Menus


(Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

   

 


 

Screen Captures

(Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Optimum

Sound:

--

Extras: Optimum
Menu: Buena Vista
 
DVD Box Covers

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

 

Distribution

Buena Vista

Region 1 - NTSC

Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong)
Region 3 - NTSC
Optimum
Region 2 - PAL




 

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