(aka "Princess Mononoke" or "Mononoke-hime" )

 

directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Japan 1997

 

Hayao Miyazaki is a great animator, and his "Princess Mononoke" is a great film. Do not allow conventional thoughts about animation to prevent you from seeing it. It tells an epic story set in medieval Japan, at the dawn of the Iron Age, when some men still lived in harmony with nature and others were trying to tame and defeat it. It is not a simplistic tale of good and evil, but the story of how humans, forest animals and nature gods all fight for their share of the new emerging order. It is one of the most visually inventive films I have ever seen.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert's review on the Chicago Sun-Times found HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 12, 1997

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

 

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

 

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DVD Comparison:

Ghibli Studio (Japan) - Region 2- NTSC vs. Intercontinental Video Ltd (HK) - Region 3 - NTSC vs. The AV Channel (Australia) - Region 4- PAL vs. Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Buena Vista (France CE) - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Mark Wilson, Runar Ursin Reed, Mark Newland, Geert Jan Alsem and Maarten de Haas for the Screen Caps!

(Ghibli- Japan- Region 2- NTSC LEFT vs. IVL -Hk - Region 3- NTSC RIGHT)

Ghibli Studio (Japan)

Region 2 - NTSC

IVL (Hong Kong)

Region 3 - NTSC

2:13:08 2:13:12

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.15 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.55 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

 

 

(The AV Channel - Region 4- PAL LEFT vs. Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Buena Vista (France CE) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

 

 

DVD Box Covers

    

Distribution The AV Channel
Region 4 - PAL

Miramax

Region 1 - NTSC

Buena Vista
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 2:13:16 (taken from NTSC source) 2:13:30 2:08:11 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.57 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.63 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.14 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

(Ghibli- Japan- Region 2- NTSC TOP vs. IVL -Hk - Region 3- NTSC 2nd vs. The AV Channel - Region 4- PAL 3rd vs. Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - 4th vs. Buena Vista (France CE) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

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

Bitrate:

 

Ghibli

 

Bitrate:

IVL

 

 

Bitrate:

 

AV Channel

 

Bitrate:

 

Miramax

 

Bitrate:

 

Buena Vista (France CE)

 

(Ghibli- Japan- Region 2- NTSC LEFT vs. IVL -Hk - Region 3- NTSC 2nd vs. The AV Channel - Region 4- PAL 3rd vs. Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - 4th vs. Buena Vista (France CE) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

Producer:

Ghibli IVL AV Channel Miramax Buena Vista
Audio DUB: English DD 5.1,
Japanese DD 2.0
Japanese DD 5.1
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (384kbps)
Japanese DTS (768kbps)
Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 (384kbps)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1, English (dub) Dolby Digital 5.1 and French (dub) Dolby Digital 5.1

DUBs: French DTS, English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, and original Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles English, Japanese, none English, Chinese, none English for the Hearing Impaired,
English, none
Literal English translation and English for the hearing impaired English, French and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Ghbli

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:

*Unknown

DVD Release Date: November 21st, 2001 (according to nausicaa.net)
2-disc set
Transparent Amaray Case
Chapters 27

NOTE: There is a 3 disc set that comes with an 'international' version with only Jap. subs
and a bunch of dubs. Bitrate of 6.38

Release Information:
Studio:
Intercontinental Video Ltd (IVL)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:

*Complete movie in the form of storyboards (with audio) on second
disc. (Note: No English menu on this disc)
*Trailer: Spirited Away
*Trailer: Miyazaki Heritage Trailer
*Small booklet presenting the Ghibli collection

DVD Release Date: April 9, 2002 (according to nausicaa.net)
2-disc set
Transparent Amaray Case
Chapters 27

Release Information:
Studio: the AV Channel

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Main Menu Introduction
• Main Menu Audio
• Menu Animation & Audio
• Storyboards-Alternative Angle Storyboards
• Trailer-Kiki's Delivery Service, Laputa Castle In The Sky
• Theatrical Trailer-trailers and TV spots
• Reversible Cover

DVD Release Date: July 20, 2000
Transparent Amaray Case

Chapters 25

 

Release Information:
Studio: Miramax

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Featurette (5 mins.)
• Theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: July 20, 2000
Amaray Case

Chapters 25
 

Release Information:
Studio: Buena Vista

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:

NOTE: It has come to our attention that there are 3 different French DVD versions (see below).

 
• Storyboard to film comparison (10 min)
• Making of (57 min)
• Interview with Mr Miyazaki (9 min)
• Discussion with Mr Suzuki, producer of Princesse Mononoke (9 min)
• Les Trois Elements (3min) – special effects featurette
• Disney remembers Ghibli (5 min)
• La scène finale (5 min) – storyboarding the last scene
• Le titre (3 min) – Mr Suzuki explaining the choice of title for the film
• Note that all the extra's are spoken in French or Japanse with only French or Spanish subs present.

 

DVD Release Date: March 20, 2002
Two disc set, in red laquered box containing a figurine of San.

Chapters 25

 

 

Comments

NOTE (Thanks Zap!): First, there are 3 different (French) versions available.


First, this is the one who's DVD cover you used in the comparison. It's the one I believe is OOP as it wasn't easy to find and it seems to be totally unavailable right now. In fact, I'm certain it's OOP as each copy is numbered, like those tin cases for Anchor Bay DVDs. It's also the one I stated had the exact same extras as the Region 1:



 

Here is a normal looking and common (meaning I saw a good deal of copies and it's apparently not OOP) version I found and it appears to also have the same extras as the Region 1:
 

Now, here comes my desired target. It's a massive and impressive looking two-disc set with the figurine and a French website stated that it has that collectible figurine and a one hour making of documentary. All evidence points that this is the DVD with all the extras you printed:
 

*******

ADDITIONS: (Ghibli Studio - Region 2- NTSC + IVL - Region 3- NTSC ) - January -2005 - The AV Channel disc is a direct copy of the Ghibli disc without converting to PAL 1st, including the edge enhancement. The IVL release looks to have used the same DLP's as well, but is slightly darker. The AV Channel, Ghibli and IVL look to have the same degree of sharpness, but there is still some edge enhancement in all three releases. To my eye the Japanese release looks to have a better color balance, but these are all very minor differences.  I like the Ghibli edition subtitles the best. The AV Channel, Ghibli and IVL are cropped on the side edges compared to the Buena Vista and Miramax releases. I'd steer clear of the AV Channel (NTSC->PAL), Buena Vista and Miramax releases and pick up either the IVL (which will be cheapest) or the Japanese version.

 Gary W. Tooze

*****

ADDITION: (AV Channel - Region 4- PAL - Jan. 05) - The R4 Princess Mononoke is a NTSC to PAL conversion and hence has compression artifacts. But it should be made clear that If you're watching on non-progressive equipment you most likely won't notice this (but you WILL get progressive equipment before this disc rots).

It is significantly cropped on the two side edges.

I cannot speak for colors (blues->purple, whites->brown) but they do look very different than the other two releases, although they match closer to the Japanese (and often considered definitive) version. Strangely the AV Channel DVD does look very sharp... but also very thin (a similar appearance to the Eureka 'M" disc). I do notice what appears to be rather unusual edge enhancements (see image below).

There is also a black border around the entire film. All Ghibli Films seem to be like this. They call it 'the overscan area'. As stated in our DVD Production rules:
DVDs should always be produced to perfectly fill the 720 pixel available width of the DVD format, with no black borders unless it is a 'pillarboxed' movie e.g. 1.19:1 or 1.66:1 on an anamorphic disk. This is for five reasons:
(a) it maximizes the available horizontal resolution, instead of wasting 10-20% of the space on the disk
(b) anyone with a properly set up system (either HTPC, or good 720p DVD players, or a TV with adjustable overscan controls) will not appreciate the introduction of black borders.
(c) why spoil a disk by deliberately introducing a fault to compensate for a corresponding overscan fault in the viewers TV equipment?
(d) how can you know that the viewer's TV has overscan of precisely 10%? The figure will vary from TV to TV, probably even among different examples of the same model.
(e) due to the way that MPEG2 compression works, the encoding of a sharp black edge at each side of the image will inevitably introduce some digital artifacts (similar to edge enhancement but in reverse) in the parts of the image adjacent to the edge. (thanks Conrad)

I really dislike the Region 4 yellow subtitles.

With the extras listed this Region 4 release should have been put out as a 2 DVD set, with the second disc having all the extras.

- Gary W. Tooze

*****

I think the Region 1 is a bit sharper, but not much. The colors look good and are the same in both. Subtitles is difficult to tell, I can't speak Japanese so I don't know what the best translation is. The color of the subtitles is better in Region 2. I don't know about the menu's, but the main menu is animated and when going to the other options you get a little animation. Sound goes to the R2, because of the extra French DTS track (which is useless by the way ) Extra's are R2 all the way. Hopefully a new R1 will feature these with English subtitles so we can enjoy them as well !

Maarten de Haas


The subtitles on the region 1 are the correct literal subtitles. That line about 'donkey piss' on the region 2 is from the English dub. I used to own the UK region 2 which had the same dubtitles.

Geert Jan Alsem

Differences in image are very slight. To my eye the Region 1 is minimally sharper. Subtitle color on the Region 1 is awful. With everything the PAL version has going for it (extras, audio etc.) - that would be my first choice.
 

 - Gary W. Tooze

 

 

 





DVD Menus

(Ghibli- Japan- Region 2- NTSC LEFT vs. IVL -Hk - Region 3- NTSC RIGHT)

 

 

 

 

 


(The AV Channel - Region 4- PAL
LEFT vs. Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Buena Vista (France CE) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

   

   

 


Edge Enhancements halos appear on the AV Channel Disc

 

 


 

Subtitle samples

 

FYI, the English dub of that subtitle shot is, "are you selling soup or donkey piss."

(Ghibli- Japan- Region 2- NTSC TOP vs. IVL -Hk - Region 3- NTSC 2nd vs. The AV Channel - Region 4- PAL 3rd vs. Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - 4th vs. Buena Vista (France CE) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


Screen Captures

(Ghibli- Japan- Region 2- NTSC TOP vs. IVL -Hk - Region 3- NTSC 2nd vs. The AV Channel - Region 4- PAL 3rd vs. Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - 4th vs. Buena Vista (France CE) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

NOTE: 'Jaggies' on the necklace bones on the AV DVD (compare with other 2)

 

 


(Ghibli- Japan- Region 2- NTSC TOP vs. IVL -Hk - Region 3- NTSC 2nd vs. The AV Channel - Region 4- PAL 3rd vs. Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - 4th vs. Buena Vista (France CE) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Ghibli- Japan- Region 2- NTSC TOP vs. IVL -Hk - Region 3- NTSC 2nd vs. The AV Channel - Region 4- PAL 3rd vs. Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - 4th vs. Buena Vista (France CE) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Ghibli- Japan- Region 2- NTSC TOP vs. IVL -Hk - Region 3- NTSC 2nd vs. The AV Channel - Region 4- PAL 3rd vs. Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - 4th vs. Buena Vista (France CE) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Ghibli- Japan- Region 2- NTSC TOP vs. IVL -Hk - Region 3- NTSC 2nd vs. The AV Channel - Region 4- PAL 3rd vs. Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - 4th vs. Buena Vista (France CE) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

Image:

Ghibli

Sound:

IVL for Japanese DTS

Extras: R2
Menu: R2

Ghibli Studio (Japan)

Region 2 - NTSC

IVL (Hong Kong)

Region 3 - NTSC

2:13:08 2:13:12

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.15 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.55 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

DVD Box Covers

    

 

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Distribution The AV Channel
Region 4 - PAL

Miramax

Region 1 - NTSC

Buena Vista
Region 2 - PAL

 

 

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