THE PLOT THUS FAR
About Hayao Miyazaki’s life and Studio Ghibli.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness” is about the race for the Studio to finish “The Wind Rises” and “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”. Miyazaki and Takahata are shown to be great friends that joined the Studio in the same era. However, we get a sense that the master/disciple principle is still at play. Between the two men, they make up the majority of the greatest Anime films of the last 30 years. However, I appreciate the inclusion of producer Toshio Suzuki as an effort to balance out the two talents.
Studio Ghibli remains the entry point for many Westerners to the world of anime. But, this film might confuse those that are looking for a direct history. So much of the movie is a free form conversation where the entire employee pool at Studio Ghibli is given a chance to talk loosely about the two films at play and how the Studio came to be. By the time we get to the creators behind the documented films, these guys are old friends and treat the camera as not even being there. They respect each other and want to help to make each film better, but the camera is seen as nothing more than a lucky visitor skimming into an immense world. I would’ve like to have seen an HD master of the film included in an eventual box set release of the greater Studio Ghibli films, but I guess that’s a pipe dream. Internal rights and all that jazz.
The DVD comes with the short film “Digest”, featurette and trailers as the special features. The A/V Quality is pretty sharp for standard definition. The transfer is pretty smooth. The same goes for the Dolby 5.1 track. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase for Studio Ghibli fans.
RELEASE DATE: 01/27/2015