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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Howl's Moving Castle' or 'Hauru no ugoku shiro')

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Japan 2004

 

A simple young girl called Sophie is put under a curse by the evil Witch Of The Waste, transforming her into an ugly old woman. Ashamed of her appearance, Sophie deserts her hat shop and heads into the hills in search of a cure. She comes across the strange, yet awesome Moving Castle, the abode of the much-feared magician, Howl. Inside the castle, Sophie befriends the fire demon Calcifer, who can see through the spell and offers to help her return to her natural form.


For his efforts, however, Sophie must help Calcifer break the contract he has with Howl, the details of which he is forbidden to explain. So Sophie assumes the position of the castle's cleaning lady and gets close to the young, handsome Howl, who takes a fancy to the young Sophie, whom he can also see behind her withered facade.

Director Hayao Mayazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) has produced another masterpiece from his Studio Ghibli. A beautifully crafted, mostly hand-drawn animated feature, Howl's Moving Castle is the latest in an impressive catalogue of quite simply, some of the best animation ever committed to celluloid.

 

  Posters

Theatrical Release: September 5, 2004 (Venice Film Festival)

Reviews                        More Reviews                       DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Nibarki - Region 3 - NTSC vs. Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gary Tooze and Henrik Sylow for the Screen Caps!

1) Nibarki - Region 3 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Disney - Region FREE Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

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

Distribution

Nibarki

Region 3 - NTSC

Optimum
Region 2 - PAL
Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray

A L T E R N A T E   V E R S I O N S

Disney - USA Region 1

BV - Japan - Region 2

AV Channel PAL (Australia)

Region 4

IVR (HK)

Region 3

AV Channel PAL (Australia) - Region 4 - Limited Edition

Taiwan (2-disc)

Region 3

Runtime 1:58:56 1:54:17 (4% PAL speedup) 1:59:37.221
Video

1.82:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.15 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.77 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,736,939,543 bytes

Feature: 34,822,901,760 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 27.26 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

 

Nibarki

Bitrate:

 

Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection)

Bitrate: Blu-ray

 

Audio 6.1 DTS EX Japanese, 2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese, 5.1 Dolby Digital Korean (dub)

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

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4376 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4376 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 4153 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4153 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles English, Japanese, Korean, None English (translated), English (HoH), None English (SDH), English, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Nibarki

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.82:1

Edition Details:
• A 2nd disc of extras only in Korean (or in Japanese with Korean subs)

DVD Release Date: December 29, 2005
Transparent Double slim Keep Case inside cardboard sleeve

Chapters 24
 

Release Information:
Studio: Optimum

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Disc 1
• Alternate storyboard
• Studio Ghibli trailers
• ...
• Disc 2
• Interview with Diana Wynne Jones (7:34 / 4:3)
• Interview with Pete Docter (7:22 / 4:3)
• Hallo, Mr. Lasseter (16:36 / 4:3)
• Explaination of CG (19:45 / 4:3)
• Trailer collection (12:08 / 4:3)
• Theatrical Trailer (1:37 / 16x9)
 

DVD Release Date: March 13, 2006
Amarey

Chapters 26

Release Information:
Studio: Disney

Aspect Ratio: 1:1.85

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,736,939,543 bytes

Feature: 34,822,901,760 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 27.26 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Behind the Microphone (9:02)

• Interview with Peter Docter (4:39)

• Hello Mr. Lasseter (16:29)

• TV Spots and Trailers (5:25)

• Original Japanese Storyboards (1:55:00)

NTSC DVD included

 

Blu-ray Release Date: May 21st, 2013
Blu-ray Case inside cardboard slipcase
Chapters: 24

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: Disney - Region FREE Blu-ray - May 2013': Firstly, a few of the captures are not exact frames as the Disney has the timeline bar visible during pauses. I did my best. The new 1080P image is brilliant. Colors jump to life - and the visuals are essentially perfect. Everything is more vibrant, brighter and crisper. It seems flawless with a dual-layered transfer with a supportive bitrate for the 2-hour film.

Audio offers both the original Japanese in a robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 but defaults to the English DUB in a similarly strong audio transfer (note the title card is in English). It sounds as wonderful as it looks with Joe Hisaishi's score exporting depth, range and healthy bass in the effects and the dialogue. There are optional subtitles and the box indicates the Blu-ray disc is region FREE.

Supplements consist of a 10-minute Behind the Microphone piece on the English DUBs, the same interview with Peter Docter as found on the Optimum - ditto for the Hello Mr. Lasseter 16-minute video. We get TV Spots and Trailers plus the entire film with the original Japanese Storyboards. There is an NTSC DVD included containing the feature and extras.

Fabulous - I was so pleased to show my sons this masterpiece. The Blu-ray gives an amazing presentation - far better than I was anticipating. Strongly recommended!

***

Comments by Gary Tooze (on Nibarki DVD issue - 2006)
I was sent this by YesAsia to review but I have a fair degree of certainty that both the Japanese and upcoming US editions are far superior. There is a thick black border around the edge of this Korean release limiting the horizontal resolution. Colors appear slightly saturated to me at times and the image detail exhibits some haziness. The optional English subtitles are readable but of a poor jagged font that is very improvable.

Of course this is being quite picky - for tube viewing this is an acceptable release. Perhaps its failing are the un-translated menus and 2nd disc of Korean extras. For Miyazaki fans the safest bet is the Japanese release which actually made our 2005 Best of the Year poll HERE. Like all quality Japanese editions it is pricey, but for passionate DVD-ophiles this always seems to be overcome by the desire to own the best possible version. For those with more patience, but are still curious about this marvelous fantasy film, we suspect the US Disney version will be quite good, if not up to the precise-ness of the Japanese release. I realize that this is a fair amount of speculation but after doing 100's of comparisons certain patterns start to form. If we are able we will compare alternate editions (but please don't just email me screen captures - we have a methodology for maintaining standards for doing our comparisons - thanks!)

Comments by Henrik Sylow on the Optimum DVD
The Optimum edition has minor artifacts in form of mosquito noise and macro blocking, but in comparison its far superior. Strong colors and sharp details.

The additional material is a mixed bag. The two interviews are very standard and offers little, if any, new details. The Miyazaki meeting Lasseter is really more for obsessive fans only. Finally, the only real piece of additional material is an explanation of CG, which goes into details and explains a lot.

 -




DVD Menus

(
Nibarki - Region 3 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 

isney - Region FREE Blu-ray

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE BELOW TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Nibarki - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Disney - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

Subtitle sample

 


1) Nibarki - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Disney - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Nibarki - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Disney - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Nibarki - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Disney - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Nibarki - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Disney - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Nibarki - Region 3 - NTSC - TOP

2) Optimum (The Studio Ghibli Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Disney - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

Box Covers

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

Distribution

Nibarki

Region 3 - NTSC

Optimum
Region 2 - PAL
Disney - Region FREE - Blu-ray

A L T E R N A T E   V E R S I O N S

Disney - USA Region 1

BV - Japan - Region 2

AV Channel PAL (Australia)

Region 4

IVR (HK)

Region 3

AV Channel PAL (Australia) - Region 4 - Limited Edition

Taiwan (2-disc)

Region 3

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray



 

 

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