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Archive for December, 2009

Laputa: USA Soundtrack Review

The original Laputa had about 30-35 minutes of score for its length of around two hours.  One of the things which stuck most in my mind when I first watched the film was the silence that was so prevalent throughout, including dramatic sequences that in Hollywood films would have exploited with plenty of bombastic music.  When Laputa was brought over for release in America, it was decided that the silence might make American viewers uncomfortable.  Some might disagree, but in the end, the result was commissioning Joe Hisaishi to rescore the entire film, bringing the runtime up to about an hour of music.  There is a potential here for an endless debate about the...... Read more

10 responses so far

Laputa: Castle in the Sky Review

Laputa was the first official film created by the newly formed company called Studio Ghibli after their success with Nausicaa, and it is an adventure story in every sense of the term.  It is lighter in tone than Nausicaa, doesn't approach the complexity of Miyazaki's greatest works, and instead has a youthful charm and pervasive innocence that is hard to dislike.  Even though Miyazaki is still refining his directorial techniques with Laputa, we can still see the imaginative......

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2 responses so far

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Review

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (風の谷のナウシカ) is the first film officially recognized as a Ghibli production, despite the fact that the film was created before the official existence of the Studio itself.  Instead, a small studio called TopCraft was brought under Miyazaki's supervision for the project.  After the success of the film, Miyazaki, producer Toshio Suzuki and fellow director Isao Takahata formed a new company called Studio Ghibli, bringing over much of the talent from TopCraft as employees......

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6 responses so far

The Cat Returns Soundtrack Review

You can listen to some low-quality clips from the score in this montage:

(The clips are from the following tracks, in order: Neko to Ohanashi, Nekoou no Gyoretsu, Kaereta Watashi Kaeretanda, Youkoso Neko no Jimusho He)

Yuuji Nomi, who delivered a fantastic score for Whisper of the Heart, was brought back for this spiritual spinoff film, The Cat Returns.  Unfortunately, these are the only two feature films he has worked on, which is quite a shame.  Although …

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4 responses so far

The Cat Returns Review

The Cat Returns is a film by Studio Ghibli released in 2002.  It is mildly related to Whisper of the Heart, which I reviewed previously (and which is my personal favourite film), although not a sequel of any kind.  In Whisper, the main character is inspired by a statuette (a cat called the Baron) to write a fantasy story about it - you can think of Cat Returns as being a possible story that she could have written.  So if you found this film through it's association with Whisper and are expecting to see Shizuku and Seiji, well, you won't find them.  What you'll find is a short and sweet fantasy story with endearing characters and a wonderful sense of imagination.  It isn't one of the best Ghibli films, but it is enjoyable for what it is. Read more

5 responses so far

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