Laputa: Castle in The Sky and Spirited Away Limited Edition Steelbook Case Review

Don’t know this was a good or bad thing but, saw limited edition steelbook copies of Spirited Away and Laputa on my Twitter timeline and thought I’d splurge out to get them both. Always wanted to own some of my favourite Ghibli movies on blu-ray.

I think the designer did a good job of the front covers on these Zavvi exclusives because they have a small illusion of popout 3D art but also capture the key parts of the movies.

As for the back of the steelbooks, I wasn’t quite expecting these characters, lol… Not quite so classy with those faded pale colours. I think a background scenery shot from each of the movies would have been better.

Well, at least the disc label and inside covers weren’t as gloomy looking.

Interestingly enough, it seems to be the same company that do all the steelbook cases for EU disc releases…

Just look at the insides of the Nier:Automata and FFXV steelbooks.

One quibble I have is how hard it is to get the discs out of these cases – I really had to bend the disc before they came out! I didn’t have to do this the with game discs where I simply had to push in the centre of the case.

It seems that while the cases are manufactured by the same company but the inside centre of the cases have different kind of holders… It doesn’t use a push button style one in this case. The strange thing was that my steelbook case copy of Nier:Automata had the same kind of centre but was much easier to take out!

Zavvi didn’t list what was actually on the blu-rays so here’s what’s on the back of the paper sleeves. Fairly standard extra content. It’s also got both the original Japanese and English dubs with subtitle options of course.

So this will be the second copy of Spirited Away I own, first one being its initial release on DVD before the days of blu-ray. Of course, even upscaled DVD doesn’t look that great on a modern day Full HD TV so I don’t mind getting second copies of my favourite movies.

The Spirited Away HD remaster definitely looks great but unfortunately, I’m not quite sure how to take screenshots of the HPC protected video for comparison so I’ll just use a screenshot from somewhere else for comparison ^^;

However it seems the colour palette has been updated to be a lot brighter and vibrant than in the DVD version. Backdrops also look a lot sharper with detailed brush strokes visible.

Here are the menus from each blu-ray. Ignore the moire patterns because it’s an effect that happens when taking photos of objects that have lines in them unfortunately. Maybe I’ll update them later if I can figure out how to grab screenshots from blu-rays ^^;

The menu itself from the Spirited Away BD isn’t very exciting. Looks like a single screencap from the movie with some white text for the menu choices.

This was the extra content included:

  • Alternative angles were already on my DVD copy showing off the sketches alongside the actual movie.
  • A short introduction by John Lasseter from Pixar.
  • A 47 minute making of which hasn’t been remastered.
  • Behind the Microphone features interviews with the English voices.
  • 17 minutes worth of trailers.
  • Short 2 minute video of John Lasseter meeting Hayao Miyazaki.

On the other hand, the Laputa BD had a much better menu – a nice image of the floating island which looks much nicer!

And if you leave the menu on for long enough you’ll even see an animated robot walking across it! Not sure if it’s supposed to be an Easter egg!

  • Storyboards work similar to Spirited Away where you have sketches on the side.
  • 12 minute making of video used as a promotion.
  • Behind the microphone 5 minutes interviewing English cast.
  • Behind the studio which has some interviews explaining the ideas that were put into the movie.
  • Credit free opening and ending which look amazingly detailed.
  • 4 minutes worth of trailers.
  • 10 minutes worth of trailers for other Ghibli movies.

Interestingly enough the movie itself doesn’t have any black borders even though it was originally produced in 4:3 ratio. However, one thing I find with HD remasters of old movies done in 4:3 is that the video seems to jitter a bit which seems to be the case here too and can be a bit annoying to watch at times.

Despite Laputa having the better menu, I think both should be a must for any Ghibli fan or anyone who is a fan of these movies.

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