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Ghibli's Laputa and Yamadas on Blu-Ray in May

posted on by Andrew Osmond
Miyazaki's and Takahata's films come to Blu-Ray May 9th

Two feature films by Studio Ghibli will be released on British Blu-Ray, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and My Neighbours the Yamadas, directed by Isao Takahata. Both Blu-Rays will be released on May 9th, costing £24.99 each (RRP).

According to the Amazon UK website, they will be released by Elevation Sales, which is a company jointly owned by Optimum Releasing and Lionsgate UK. Optimum has handled Ghibli's films on UK DVD, releasing Laputa in that format in 2003, and Yamadas in 2006. (Additionally, Optimum released Miyazaki's Ponyo on Blu-Ray in June 2010, followed by Nausicaa in October.)

Laputa, screening at some cinemas as part of the We Love Anime roadshow, is Miyazaki's 1986 fantasy about a treasure hunt for a flying island. Yamadas is Takahata's 1997 comedy about an eccentric Japanese family.

The beginning of Laputa is set in a mining village, inspired by Miyazaki's visit to Wales in 1984. According to an interview in Britain's Guardian newspaper:

Miyazaki has visited Wales several times and has a deep affection for the place. He was first there in 1984, witnessed the miners' strike at first hand and farmed the whole harrowing experience into his 1986 animation Laputa: Castle in the Sky. "I admired those men (...) I admired the way they battled to save their way of life, just as the coal miners in Japan did. Many people of my generation see the miners as a symbol; a dying breed of fighting men." He shrugs. "Now they are gone."

The original 'Laputa' was a flying island in the novel Gulliver's Travels by the Anglo-Irish writer Jonathan Swift. Because the word 'Laputa' is similar to a profanity in Spanish, the film's title was changed to Castle in the Sky in America.

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