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DVD Review: The Secret World of Arrietty, Whisper of the Heart, and Castle in the Sky (Blu-ray)


Disney just released three wonderful Studio Ghibli films on Blu-ray, The Secret World of Arrietty, Whisper of the Heart, and Castle in the Sky (Blu-ray). All three films are fantastic (Studio Ghibli and Disney make a wonderful pairing), and all have 2-disc release packages which come with both a Blu-ray version and a DVD version. They look superb in high-def Blu-ray, though the DVD versions look great as well, especially if you have an upconverting DVD player.

I have profiles for each of these three films already on my website (The Secret World of Arrietty, Whisper of the Heart, Castle in the Sky), so there's not much of a need for me to give a summary of each one in this review when you can just go check those out. All three films are worth watching and are appropriate for just about all ages. And I really mean that, as adults will love these as much as (if not more than) children. The animation is exactly what you'd expect from a Studio Ghibli release, smooth, detailed, and easy on the eyes with a lot of very natural backgrounds. The characters are very realistic in their personalities, attitudes, and expressions which makes them and the story feel all the more real.

All of the discs have extra features, but the Blu-ray discs contain more then their DVD counterparts:

The Secret World of Arrietty

  • Blu-Ray Bonus Features
    • "Summertime" Bridgit Mendler Music Video
    • The Making of "Summertime"
    • "Arrietty's Song" Cecile Corbel Music Video
    • Original Japanese Storyboards
    • Original Japanese Trailers & TV Spots
  • DVD Bonus Features
    • "Summertime" Bridgit Mendler Music Video
    • The Making of "Summertime"

Whisper of the Heart

  • Blu-Ray Bonus Features
    • Four Masterpieces Of Naohisa Inoue
    • Original Japanese Storyboards
    • Behind the Microphone
    • Trailers & TV Spots
  • DVD Bonus Features
    • Behind the Microphone
    • Trailers & TV Spots

Castle in the Sky

  • Blu-Ray Bonus Features
    • Introduction by John Lasseter
    • Original Japanese Storyboards
    • Behind the Studio
      • The World of Laputa
      • Creating Castle in the Sky
      • Character Sketches
      • Producer's Prospective: Meeting Miyazaki
      • Scoring Miyazaki
      • Original Japanese Trailers
      • Behind the Microphone
  • DVD Bonus Features
    • Introduction by John Lasseter

I like the Behind the Studio and Behind the Microphone extras, so it was a bit disappointing that The Secret World of Arrietty didn't have something like that. I also don't think the extras make the Blu-rays much more special than just plain DVDs. As I said before, both look great, and if you have a Blu-ray player then you'll probably want the Blu-ray version, but for the quality not because of the extras.

THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY

Trailer

Japanese TV Spot (Bonus)

Young Bean (Film)

What do They Call You (Film)

What Are Borrowers (Film)

WHISPER OF THE HEART

Shizuku Meets the Baron (Film)

Shizuku Learns About the Cat (Film)

Country Roads (Film)

Gem Metaphor (Film)

Baron Fantasy Sequence (Film)

Seiji comes Back For Shizuku (Film)

CASTLE IN THE SKY

Trailer

First Look at the Castle (Film)

Sheeta, Pazu, and Uncle Pomme in the Mind (Film)

Saved by the Necklace (Film)

Wrong Idea (Film)

Creating the Castle in the Sky (Bonus)

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