(aka 'Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi')

directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Japan 2001


Posters

Theatrical Release: July 27th, 2001 - Japan

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Recommended Reading for Japanese Film/Animation Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

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DVD Comparison:

AV Channel - Region 4- PAL vs. Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC

Region 1 and 3 screen caps courtesy of Kevin Yip ... and thanks to Paul Leeming for the Region 4 captures !

(AV Channel- Region 4- PAL  LEFT vs. Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Large Packaging image HERE and HERE

 

 

Distribution

AV Channel

Region 4- PAL

Buena Vista / Walt Disney Home Video

Region 1  - NTSC

Intercontinental Video Release
Region 3 - NTSC
Runtime 2:04:16 2:04:24 2:04:22
Video 1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.3 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.1 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.44
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

AV Channel

 

Bitrate:

BV/Disney

.

Bitrate:

IVR

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese DTS 5.1 (768Kb/s) 
English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)

Japanese DTS 6.1 ES, Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, Cantonese Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround

Subtitles English, English for the Hearing Impaired , None English and none
(removable):  English, Japanese, Traditional Chinese
     (Comment:  The English subtitles are "literal subtitles" for the Japanese track.  There is no translation for the theme song at the closing credits. Otherwise, they are identical to those on the R1 disc.)
Features Release Information:
Studio: AV Channel

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:

 

DISC 1

Main feature:
- English subtitles for the Japanese track ("literal subtitles")  (Comment: the "literal subtitles" also include translation for the theme song during the closing credits.)
- English subtitles for the English dub track ("dubtitles")
- English closed captioning ("dubtitles" are used)
- seamless branching with Japanese or English credits depending on language selected
Trailers
- Arjuna (1:20)
- .hack//SIGN (1:40)
- The Big O (1:03)
- Robotech series (0:31)
- Transformers the movie (1:32)
- FLCL (2:20)
- Gundam Wing (1:54)
- Love Hina (1:41)
- Martian Successor Nadesico (1:32)
- Dragonball (0:40)
- Jubei-Chan the Ninja Girl (1:05)
- Leunig Animated (0:48)

DVD Credits

 

DISC2

Making of Spirited Away (41:53) - same as Nippon TV Special
Storyboard Comparison (chaptered and using 3 different angles - storyboard, spilt screen, final feature))
- the middle of nowhere (5:03)
- "it's just a dream" (4:48)
- finding work at the bathhouse (5:09)
- working for tips (6:47)
- a monster called No Face (5:03)
Themes of Spirited Away (17 pages of notes)
- Bath Houses
- Religion
- Chihiro's name
- Heroines
Trailers and TV Spots
- Japanese trailers and TV spots (28:59)
- American trailer (2:18)
- French trailer (1:47)
Image Galleries
- Feature images (12)
- International art (9, starting with the Australian one)
Study Guide
- This is a DVD-ROM feature: a PDF file containing a study guide for children (aimed at 5 to 8 year olds).
Japanese Advertising Easter Egg
- Valley of the Wind: Nausicaa
- Castle in the Sky: Laputa
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Kiki's Delivery Service
- Only Yesterday
- Porco Rosso
- Ocean Waves
- The Racoon Wars Pompoko
- Whispers of the Heart
- Princess Mononoke
- My Neighbors the Yamadas
- Spirited Away

 

DVD Release Date: 6 June 2003
Gatefold Cardboard Case
Chapters 17
Release Information:
Studio: Walt Disney Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:

DISC 1
Main feature:
       - English subtitles for the Japanese track
("literal subtitles")  (Comment: the "literal subtitles" also include translation for the theme song during the closing credits.)
     - English subtitles for the English dub track
("dubtitles")

     - English closed captioning ("dubtitles" are

used)

 Introduction by John Lasseter (00:01:10)

The Art of Spirited Away (00:15:12)
  (Comment:  This is primarily a "Making of the
English dub version" featurette.)
 
DISC 2
The Nippon Television Special (00:41:49)
  - In Japanese with optional English subtitles
  (Comment: This excellent "making-of" documentary shows the various stages of the production, from the hectic animation stage, to the voice dubbing, scoring, and the recording of the theme song.) Select storyboard-to-scene comparison (00:10:36)
  - Storyboard and film in alternate angles in Japanese or English audio, no subtitles
  (Comment: the first 10:36 of the film is used for
the comparison.)
Several Japanese trailers (00:28:52)
  - All in Japanese, most with optional English
subtitles, some with non-removable English subtitles
Behind the Microphone (00:05:40

 

DVD Release Date: April 15, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Intercontinental Video Release

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:

DISC 1
Menus in English and Chinese
Main feature
 
DISC 2 
Menus in English, Traditional Chinese, and Japanese Complete storyboards and film on alternate angles
   - Japanese 2.0 Surround audio track
   - Optional English and Traditional Chinese

subtitles

"The Making of Spirited Away" Featurette

   - Narrated in Mandarin, subtitled in Traditional
Chinese
   - Run time: 00:21:50
   (Comment: This featurette includes a tour of Studio Ghibli and the Ghibli Museum, and interview segments of Miyazaki.  This Buena Vista-produced TV special originally aired in Taiwan, and is only available on this DVD.)


DVD Release Date: April 15, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 24

 

NOTE: The the 2-disc R4 has now been deleted and will soon disappear from all stores and be Out of Print.

 

Comments:
ADDITION Oct 31st, 2003 (ADDITION OF THE REGION 4):

Paul says: Not having seen either of the other region discs, I have to say during normal non-critical watching the Region 4 version is a beautiful picture, with deep blacks and excellent colour clarity. I watched the Yubaba segment on my TV a few times with a critical eye and did notice the slight compression, but if you were to watch normally I doubt you'd notice anything. 

The ghosting issue in my opinion is not an issue after all, since it's just an interlacing artifact that doesn't show up during viewing as far as I can see. Perhaps just a mention that it is the product of interlacing would suffice.

In the extras department I'd pick R4, since the features Disney included in R1 (like John Lasseter's intro) I can certainly do without! This is not a Disney film at all except in distribution rights, so I'm glad the Aussie version doesn't bear any Disney stuff personally (including a trailer before the movie if I'm not mistaken!).

The packaging is a no brainer - R4 wins hands down. It really is a beautiful package and suits the movie entirely.

Menus - I'd pick R4 but R1 isn't bad either, just seems a little more generic. R3 is out again.

Overall, I'd pick R4, but only just. You can make a case for either R1 or R4, both are very good transfers and the Yubaba screenshot is not really indicative of the rest of the picture (plus it's a high motion area so you don't really have time to focus on it).

The packaging and extras are just a bit better in R4 in my opinion.

Kevin says:  Image: R1. I would have to disagree with Paul here. The ghosting artifact could be very noticeable on a large progressive display.

Sound: a tie between R3 and R4, since both have DTS. R3 has one more rear channel, but it probably won't make much difference in this film.

Extras: a tie between R3 and R4. R3 has complete storyboarding, while R4 has that very interesting study guide.

Menus: Any would do.

Gary says: I agree with Kevin in that the "ghosting" issue could be more noticeable on larger projection screen and they are other artifact issues usually present with this unfortunate circumstance ('ghosting'). the packaging on the Region 4 is quite impressive, but for me personally, the image quality is always the deciding factor - so we are going with the Region 1.

The Hong Kong-made Region 3 NTSC disc is distributed by a company called IVL.  It is reported to have identical video quality as the Region 2 Japanese-made DVD version.  Both the Hong Kong and the Japanese disc have an apparent reddishness on the video transfer throughout the film, as shown in the screenshots below.  This "red tint" phenomenon has been well-documented in DVD review sites, and is generally considered a major snafu by the Japanese distributors who provided the print for the DVDs.

 
Unbelievably, the Region 1 Buena Vista disc is not totally free of the reddishness, according to the screenshots I took below.  Skies still look a bit turquoise, and whites are still not quite pure white. I performed a rudimentary comparison.  I obtained RGB values for the white color on the first set of screenshots below, just to get some basic quantification on the amount of reddishness.  On the IVL screenshot, RGB values for the white color on Chihiro's shirt are 247/189/140, clearly indicating an red push.  On the BV screenshot, they are 226/199/172.  Only on the screenshot of the Japanese *trailer* on the BV disc do we get the closest white values:   235/238/223. 
Aside from the reddishness, the Buena Vista and IVL discs seem comparable in quality.  They look similarly sharp and clean.  With the heavier red tint, which subdues the white color as seen in the first screenshots below, the IVL disc seems a bit darker when there is a high level of white on the screen. 
The bit rate diagrams above show the BV disc has a lower average bit rate.  This is corroborated with the screenshot below (where Yubaba is clutching Haku), in which, upon closer look, the BV disc shows slightly more compression artifacts around the edges.
 
The DTS 6.1 Japanese track on the IVL disc is noticeably better than the Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks on the BV disc.  The higher bit rate of the DTS track resulted in a more realistic and immersive experience.  

-Kevin Yip

 


(AV Channel- Region 4- PAL  TOP vs. Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

From the Buena Vista Trailer

 

 

"GHOSTING" in the Region 4 Release

 





DVD Menus


(AV Channel- Region 4- PAL  LEFT vs.
Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 


Screen Captures

(AV Channel- Region 4- PAL  TOP vs. Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC - BOTTOM)



(AV Channel- Region 4- PAL  TOP vs. Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


(AV Channel- Region 4- PAL  TOP vs. Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

NOTE FROM KEVIN: On the screenshot comparison of Yubaba breathing flames onto Haku, Paul's Region 4 capture shows a lot more of what look like compression artifacts (especially on Yubaba's hair) than the other 2 captures.


(AV Channel- Region 4- PAL  TOP vs. Buena Vista - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd. (Hong Kong) - Region 3 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Buena Vista Region 1

Sound:

TIE - IVR Region 3 - AV Channel Region 4

Extras: AV Channel Region 4
Menu: pick'em
DVD Box Covers

Large Packaging image HERE and HERE

 

 

Distribution

AV Channel

Region 4- PAL

Buena Vista / Walt Disney Home Video

Region 1  - NTSC

Intercontinental Video Release
Region 3 - NTSC

 


 

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