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Studio Ghibli’s THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA Blu-ray Review


From the legendary Studio Ghibli and Universal in partnership with GKids comes an all-new animated film, “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.”

Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter (James Caan) and his wife (Mary Steenburgen), a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady (Chloë Grace Moretz). The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her – but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime. From Studio Ghibli, the studio that brought you Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and The Wind Rises comes a powerful and sweeping epic that redefines the limits of animated storytelling and marks a triumphant highpoint within an extraordinary career in filmmaking for director Isao Takahata.

“The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” comes to life with storybook like animation. The animation in the film looked like it was a motion storybook.  The tale is a beautiful tale about unconditional love. This particular film is a bit darker than the other Studio Ghibli films which were released by Disney. At one point in the film, the parents of Princess Kaguya have decided to find a prince to marry their daughter. She does not want any of the men that they have chosen. The Princess finds herself in a dark place and threatens to kill herself. Princess Kaguya is a princess of all kinds of mystery. The power she holds, where she came from and even her beauty could be considered a mystery.

The cast includes voices from Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass), James Caan (Godfather), Mary Steenburgen (Step Brothers), Darren Criss (Glee), Lucy Liu (Kill Bill), Beau Bridges (Stargate TV series) and many more great voices were featured in the film. A very well-rounded star-studded cast.

Bonus Features

The length of the film is 2 hours and 18 minutes which is pretty lengthy for an animated film. On top of that, you also get a whole other disc which includes an 86 minute documentary of the making of the film as well as an announcement of the completion of the film, Japanese trailers and TV spots, and US trailers. This blu-ray combo pack has way more extras than any of the Studio Ghibli films which Disney released. You definitely get your moneys worth.

Technical Information

As far as the technical side of the blu-ray and dvd, the Blu-ray includes: 1.85:1 Widescreen aspect ratio. English, French and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 with English SDH and French subtitles. The DVD includes: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, English French and Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 with English SDH and French subtitles. The film looked crystal clear even on my TV which is about 6 years old.

I really did like the story, it was a very beautiful story even considering that it was a bit dark at times but every great tale has some dark moments just as it is in life.. The cast was great. I loved that the narrator was Mary Steenburgen who was also the voice of the bamboo cutter’s wife. As I said before, the cast was a very well rounded cast. It’s easy to see why the film is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

“The Tale of The Princess Kaguya” is out now.