I finished watching the last episode of 10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki last night. (I mentioned the series in my last post.) The first couple of episodes concentrated mostly on Ponyo. The last couple covered The Wind Rises, which is likely to be Miyazaki’s final film. They also covered From Up on Poppy Hill, directed by Miyazaki’s son Gorō Miyazaki. (The series spends some time on that father/son relationship. It’s a bit prickly.)
Anyway, watching this got me interested in watching some Ghibli films again, so I starting poking through my DVDs to see what I had. I was surprised to see that I apparently only own three Miyazaki films: Castle of Cagliostro, Castle in the Sky, and Princess Mononoke. I could have sworn I owned a copy of Spirited Away, but I can’t find it anywhere, nor can I find any indication in my email archives that I ever bought a copy. So I think I was mistaken there. And I also remember owning Kiki’s Delivery Service, but that might have been on VHS.
So now I’m thinking it might be a good idea to rectify that in some way. Back in 2015, there was a big Blu-ray set of The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki, available exclusively on Amazon, for $225. I probably should have bought it back then, since it’s going for $600 now. (It looks like it was a pretty nice set.)
Looking at the state of Ghibli/Miyazaki films in the US right now, I see that the rights for most of them moved from Disney to an outfit called GKIDS in 2017. I was vaguely aware of that already, but hadn’t bought any of their releases. I see that they have a number of films available right now, including an “anniversary edition” of My Neighbor Totoro and a “collector’s edition” of Princess Mononoke, both of which look pretty cool.
I’m kind of trying to cut down on my accumulation of physical media though, so I checked to see if any of this stuff was available to rent or buy digitally. I was surprised to see that none of it was available on iTunes, nor does any of the GKIDS stuff seem to available digitally at all. I found a bit of discussion related to that on reddit. I guess it makes sense, though it would be nice to be able to rent a few of the films I haven’t seen, but that I’m not interested in owning.
GKIDS and Fathom Events are still doing their Studio Ghibli Fest thing. Looking at the schedule for the rest of the year, they’re mostly doing one movie per month, generally near the end of the month. I could actually go see My Neighbor Totoro tomorrow night. But it’s a pain for me to do that kind of thing on a weeknight.
So it wasn’t looking like I was going to be able to catch up on Miyazaki films without spending a bunch of money on Blu-rays. But then I checked my local library system, and they have a bunch of Miyazaki DVDs, so maybe I’ll start checking them out of the library and watching them that way.