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|Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Complete Book Two Collection
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Avatar: The Complete Book 2 DVD Collection includes 20 action packed episodes from Book 2: Earth, plus an exclusive never-before-seen bonus disc! This 5 disc set centers around Avatar Aang and his continious quest to master the four elements. Together with Katara, Sokka, Momo and Appa, he journeys across the Earth Kingdom in search of an Earthbending mentor while staying one step ahead of Prince Zuko and fighting off the treachorous, Princess Azula, of the Fire Nation, who will stop at nothing to defeat the Avatar!
Book 2: Earth, Vol. 1 Avatar the Last Airbender: Book 2 Earth, Volume 1 finds Aang, the Avatar and potential reconciler of a world divided into air, earth, water, and fire kingdoms, now a master Waterbender. That means he and companions Katara and Sokka can now leave the Northern Water Tribe and concentrate on mastering earth. New adventures and dangers await the heroic trio in the five episodes included on this DVD, which finds Aang experiencing nightmares about the power of the Avatar State. He also meets an earth kingdom general with plans for attacking the warrior tribes of the fire nation, gets trapped with possible love interest Katara in the Cave of Two Lovers, and gets pulled into a supernatural swamp by a tornado. As always, Avatar is above average as an engaging anime tale, with a wonderfully original storyline and striking artistry. --Tom Keogh
Book 2: Earth, Vol. 2 The five chapters in Avatar the Last Airbender: Book 2 Earth, Volume 2 continue the story of young avatar Aang's adventures deep within the Earth Kingdom. As usual, each episode is a seamless blend of grave drama and comic relief, but the stakes seem higher than ever with the addition of a new member to Aang's team. Joining Katara and Sokka is Toph, a blind but powerful earthbending girl trying to obscure her aristocratic origins by defeating large, scary men in the ring. Aang recognizes Toph from his vision of an earthbending teacher, whom he needs to help him master control over the earth element. Toph also adds a kind of sardonic, tart tone to Aang's journey, ultimately leaving her world to join the series’ trio of young heroes. "The Blind Bandit" finds Aang, Katara, and Sokka working hard at convincing Toph to help their mission. "Zuko Alone" carries on the tale of the firebending prince who now travels alone and anonymously, but comes close to befriending a boy in an Earth Kingdom town. (The episode is full of interesting flashbacks from Zuko’s youth.) "The Chase" also concerns Zuko’s past, but is primarily about Aang, Katara, and Sokka adjusting to Toph’s somewhat self-centered presence on the team at the same time Princess Azula is relentlessly hunting them all down in a kind of speeding tank. "Bitter Work" finds Toph having difficulties training Aang, while "The Library" is an exotic episode about a professor who leads the crew to a library containing information useful against the Fire Nation. When they get there, they find the place guarded by the owl-like Wan Shi Tong, who begins sinking the library in defense against the perceived invaders. --Tom Keogh
Book 2: Earth, Vol. 3 Avatar the Last Airbender: Book 2 Earth, Volume 3 covers chapters 11 through 15 in the ongoing saga of Aang, the 12-year-old reincarnation of an avatar destined to reunite the warring nations of fire, earth, water, and air. Still traveling with his friends Katara, Sokka, and newcomer Toph, Aang gets into some of the strangest and most compelling situations yet seen on his journey to master control over all four elements. The first story, "The Desert," finds Aang so upset over the abduction and criminal sale of his flying bison, Appa, that the powerful boy shows a streak of rage, demonstrating to himself that he could easily use his emerging skills to harm enemies if he wished. Still, Appa remains missing through this volume, leading the gang on a mission to survive a desert sojourn and survive during a perilous flight (with a young family in tow) over a pass through mountains and ocean in "The Serpent’s Pass." They also get involved in a bizarre fight (in "The Drill") against the Fire Nation army and its gigantic drill, which is aimed at the outer wall of Ba Sing Se, a city occupied by earth people. Once inside Ba Sing Se, however, things get really weird: smiling officials (in "City of Walls and Secrets") outlaw any discussion of the war outside in order to keep the population placid and the economy rolling. Finally, "Tales of Ba Sing Se" is an original piece made up of individual vignettes focusing on each of the major characters. If there is anything surprising about Book 2 Earth, Volume 3, it’s the amount of romance (kissing, even!) in the air. These Avatar boys and girls are growing up. --Tom Keogh
Book 2: Earth, Vol. 4 The long journey of young Avatar Aang and his friends Katara, Sokka, and Toph continues in this dramatic installment in the Avatar the Last Airbender series. Picking up from Volume 3, the first chapter on this disc, "Appa’s Lost Days," traces the hard times of Aang’s winged bison, Appa, after the latter is stolen in order to blackmail Aang into not going to the Earth King with information about a pending coup. The clever Aang manages to find Appa anyway and complete his crucial mission, though he learns, in "The Earth King," that the sheltered monarch doesn’t buy the notion that his own counsel, the power-grasping Long Feng, could be behind such a conspiracy. Complicating matters is the arrival of Princess Azula to take control over forces loyal to Long Feng, while Zuko, the reformed Fire Nation prince now acting as a humble but happier servant to his wise, tea-drinking uncle, is powerless to stop her. (On the other hand, Zuko forms an unexpected bond with one of Aang’s allies.) Everything comes to a head in "The Crossroads of Destiny," in which Aang, suddenly confused by the sage advice of a guru who tells him he must free himself of a crucial emotional attachment, joins the others in an uphill effort to stop Azula from overtaking the Earth King. As engaging and frequently funny as every other volume in the Avatar series, Volume Four is a great ride through a climactic time in the long-running story. --Tom Keogh
- All 20 chapters from Book 2: Earth on 5 discs
- Interview with Creators and M. Night Shyamalan
- "The Essence of Bending" with Bryan Konietzko and Sifu Kisu
- Avatar Super Deformed Shorts
- "Escape From the Spirit World" Animated Graphic Novel
|Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Complete Book Three Collection
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In this award-winning anime series, Aang has survived a terrible battle and must face new challenges as he and his friends enter the Fire Nation. Bonuses: commentary by the creators, the women of Avatar, pencil test animation and Into the Fire Nation at C
Book 3: Fire, Vol. 1 Avatar the Last Airbender: Book 3, Volume 1 is a slightly unusual suite of episodes in the Avatar canon, as the majority of programs are even more comical than usual. Not that the five shows included on this disc lack seriousness: the long-running series now finds young Aang (the once and future avatar destined to reunite the world’s four estranged nations) and his traveling companions behind enemy lines in the Fire Nation, disguised as colonists. In "Awakening," Aang arises--with a surprising headful of dark hair--from several weeks of unconsciousness (due to the injuries he sustained during a battle for Ba Sing Se) aboard a captured Fire Nation warship. Though he finds old friends Sokka, Toph, and Katara nearby, all urging him not to take matters in his own hands, Aang ultimately feels compelled to go head-to-head with the Fire Lord before he is ready. The result forces Aang and the others to remain incognito, setting up subsequent episodes in which the heroes are forced to lay low and find something else to do with their time besides fight adversaries. In "The Headband," Aang enrolls in a Fire Nation school, where his eyes are opened to such ordinary experiences as dealing with a campus bully and getting a hard time from strict teachers. In "The Painted Lady," Aang, Sokka, Katara, and Toph visit an impoverished fishing village and have to repress their typical instinct to help lest they be recognized as outsiders. (An alternative is found.) "Sokka’s Master," in some ways the most enjoyable episode here, finds Sokka feeling useless because he doesn’t possess powers similar to his mates. His solution: talk a master swordsman into taking him on as an apprentice. Finally, the most unexpected story in this collection is "The Beach," in which Prince Zuko, Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee--all of whom are back in the Fire Nation, too--take an awkward holiday but end up learning a lot about one another.
Meanwhile, Zuko--following his extended banishment from the Fire Nation--discovers that his father welcoming again, but only because his manipulative sister, Princess Azula, has falsely told everyone that Zuko killed Aang. Fearing that his father will disown him again, Zuko chooses not to tell the truth and works on having Aang quietly assassinated. Where Zuko had been more of a complete human being during his exile, he’s back to being a monster again, going so far as to keep his dutiful uncle, Iroh, in a dark, dank prison. --Tom Keogh
Book 3: Fire, Vol. 2 Avatar the Last Airbender: Book 3--Fire, Volume 2 finds the series closing in on a long-awaited day of reckoning with the fire nation. The five episodes on this disc continue those chapters on Volume 1 in which Aang--the young avatar--and his companions Katara, Toph, and Sokka live undercover in the fire nation, awaiting the moment when an alliance of warriors from the air, water, and earth nations converge to overtake the conquering firebenders once and for all. On Volume 2, the path to the day of battle, in typical Avatar fashion, is full of misadventures and intrigue, but also sundry revelations that make the pending series climax that much more interesting. "The Avatar and the Firelord" is the backstory of how the fire nation leader came to be a brutal tyrant in the world. Turns out he was the best friend of none other than the previous avatar; the souring of their relationship led to the troubles young Aang is trying to resolve. (While Aang is finding all this out, the fire nation’s Prince Zuko discovers his ancestry is more complicated than he’d imagined, and that he has more of a role to play in ending the war waged by his people.) "The Runaway" is a comedy about mischievous Toph getting into trouble for using her earthbending powers to win bets and make a lot of money. "The Puppetmaster" is a scary story featuring a waterbending old woman who initially enchants Katara, but then later is revealed to be a vengeful monster with terrifying abilities to control people’s bodies. "Nightmares and Daydreams" concerns an anxious Aang unable to sleep and stop hallucinating prior to the coming battle, while part one of "The Day of Black Sun" sees the beginning of the allies’ invasion of the fire nation. Lots of surprises in this last episode, with a cliffhanger ending that makes the next volume of Avatar most desirable. --Tom Keogh
Book 3: Fire, Vol. 3 At the beginning of Avatar the Last Airbender: Book 3 Fire, Vol. 3, things don't go quite the way one would have hoped at the end of Vol. 2. Aang--the young avatar--and his companions Katara, Toph, and Sokka were part of a major assault on the tyrannical fire nation, and hopes of victory were high. In "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse," however, circumstances reverse the heroes' fortunes, forcing Aang, his friends and the very youngest warriors to flee the battle. As they regroup at the Western Air Temple, mourning the expected imprisonment of the adults left behind, Aang comes face to face with an unexpected, would-be ally: Zuko, prince of the fire nation. Sokka and Katara refuse to accept Zuko's guarantee that he is truly on their side (they've been through this before), but Toph and Aang are a little more receptive to the idea. Good thing. In "The Firebending Masters," Aang accepts that Zuko could be the firebending mentor he needs to show him how to conquer the most elusive of the four elements. But it isn't easy: Zuko loses his power and must retreat to a fire nation temple, where he can learn the origins of his native gift. The set of five stories on this disc concludes with the two-part "The Boiling Rock," in which Sokka and Zuko infiltrate a fire nation maximum security prison in hopes of freeing Sokka's father. Trying hard to stay clandestine, Zuko's identity is revealed anyway, jeopardizing not only the mission but Zuko and Sokka's very freedom. The excitement is endless in the long-running Avatar series, and developments (especially Zuko's acceptance by Aang and the others) are as heartening as they are surprising. --Tom Keogh
Book 3: Fire, Vol. 4 The long-running series Avatar the Last Airbender comes to a dazzling conclusion in Book 3 Fire, Volume 4. Poised for quite a number of episodes (seen in previous volumes) to go to war against the tyrannical Fire Nation, Aang the young Avatar and his cohorts must now bring down the Fire Lord and his army, or watch them ramp up their destructive powers during an imminent solar eclipse. But there's a lingering question only Aang can answer: can the Avatar, who has never killed anyone, bring himself to take the Fire Lord's life? That is what he must do, according to Zuko, the Fire Prince who has thrown in his lot with Aang and the latter's friends.
While Aang is sorting that out--receiving various wisdoms from past Avatars and advice from a giant turtle-lion creature--Zuko and Katara take another leg of the battle by confronting Zuko's crazed sister. Meanwhile, Sokka re-asserts his latent talent for commanding dangerous missions as he and earth-bender Toph attempt to sabotage Fire Nation airships. The final episodes on this disc are thrilling, in no small part because they have been so long in arriving. Before those, however, there are a couple of interesting chapters to get through, including "The Southern Raiders," in which Katara attempts to exact revenge for the disappearance of her mother. As always, there's some comic relief, in this case "The Ember Island Players," in which our heroes experience the ignominy of watching some of their previous adventures become a ridiculous, staged play. --Tom Keogh
- Condition: New
- Format: DVD
- Closed-captioned; Color; NTSC
|Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Complete Book One Collection
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Avatar: The Complete Book One DVD Box Set includes the collection of all Avatar Water Nation episodes. This six-disc set will center on the Water Nation and its characters in 20 Avatar episodes (Chapters 1-20), Five DVD’s plus a bonus disc filled with incredible special features!
Book 1: Water, Vol. 1
Mysterious, visually beautiful at times, and surprisingly funny, Avatar: Book 1, Volume 1 is the exciting story of Aang, a 12-year-old reincarnation of the ancient Avatar, whose purpose (in an imagined world that seems both ancient and futuristic) is to restore peace and order between warring armies of the four elements: fire, earth, water, and air. At one time or another, over thousands of years, the Avatar has been embodied in masters of each of the elements. Aang (who is freed from a century-long sleep inside an iceberg) happens to be an "airbender," capable of using air and wind as powerful forces for moving objects and defeating hostile armies of firebenders. The feature-length Avatar follows Aang and a couple of friends as he becomes reacquainted with the world he knew before his 100-year hibernation--a world now lost to history. The story also concerns internal dramas within the unforgiving world of firebenders, who are intent on destruction and conquest. This engaging story, very pleasant to look at in its rich tones of blue and orange, is for all ages. --Tom Keogh
Book 1: Water, Vol. 2
Avatar The Last Airbender, Book 1: Water, Volume 2 continues the adventurous if half-comic journey of 12-year-old Airbender Aang, reincarnation of an ancient avatar, and his friends Katara and Sokka as they seek a teacher to help Aang fulfill his peacemaking destiny in a war-torn world. The four episodes on this disc, a follow-up to the elegant, magical series introduction, find the trio wandering through sundry Earth Nation cities, where they encounter signs of troubles between the once-harmonious, elemental tribes representing fire, earth, air, and water. They also bump into trouble with the occasional evil kingdom, as in "The King of Omashu," where Aang must go through various trials to save Katara and Sokka from a bizarre execution. (They're encased in growing, crystal structures.) "Imprisoned" finds Katara inadvertently responsible for the arrest of an Earthbending boy who dares to use his powers while his people are under Firebender occupation. The ambitious, two-part "Winter Solstice" is the best production in this collection, a pairing of storylines involving the capture of a Firebender war criminal and the hopes of a frightened village that turns to Aang to defeat a monster from the spirit world. The action is still original and fun on this sequel--most of it continues to be based on exciting uses of the elements--and the lead trio's characters (Aang the scamp, Katara the idealist, Sokka the skeptic) are still a pleasure to be with. --Tom Keogh
Book 1: Water, Vol. 3
The Avatar saga continues with four of the anime series' strongest stories yet on Book 1: Water, Volume 3, mixing goofy comedy with mythic drama in the spirit of Avatar's magical debut (Book 1 Water, Volume 1) and engaging follow-up (Book 1 Water, Volume 2). Volume 3 concerns the continuing (perilous) travels of Aang, the 12-year-old Airbender destined to heal the rift between the world's air, water, fire, and earth peoples, and his friends Katara and Sokka. "The Waterbending Scroll" finds Katara so jealous over Aang's quick mastery of complicated waterbending techniques that the trio ends up in trouble with a cluster of cutthroat pirates. "Jet" is an interesting story of an adolescent boy leading a Robin Hood-like rebellion against the firebending occupiers of his land. Charismatic and rakish, Jet makes Katara swoon and becomes a hero to Aang--until his true colors and agenda show up later. "The Great Divide" places Aang and company in the position of mediating a truce between refugees seeking assistance across a great canyon. Finally, "The Storm" is a superb piece which shows us, in parallel narratives, how Aang was fleeing his oppressed life as an avatar-in-training a century earlier when he became encased in ice, and how the driven, seemingly merciless Prince Zuko lost his own boyhood innocence before setting out to capture Aang. This excellent collection carries on the series' imaginative, graceful animation, making Avatar a real pleasure to watch. --Tom Keogh
Book 1: Water, Vol. 4
Book 1: Water, Vol. 5
Chapters 17 through 20 of Avatar the Last Airbender: Book 1 Water, Vol. 5 find Aang, the 12-year-old Avatar destined to bring peace to the world by mastering the four elements, once again in direct collision with the forces of the Fire nation. In "The Northern Air Temple," a sad Aang visits the ruins of a monastery well known to him in his past life. Aang is shocked to discover a tribe of faux Airbenders living there, presided over by an inventor with a dark and even treacherous secret. "The Waterbending Master" introduces Aang to a mentor he would just as soon avoid: an old Waterbender who can teach him to move, shape, and fight with liquid, prerequisites to Aang assuming his place as the world’s savior. Meanwhile, Aang's traveling companion Katara is frustrated by that same master’s refusal to sharpen her own natural, Waterbending talent; until, that is, an unexpected link between them becomes clear. (Aang's other friend, Sokka, stays busy--and crazy--chasing a princess who gives him mixed signals about her romantic interest.) "The Siege of the North, Parts 1 and 2" is yet another epic confrontation between Admiral Zhao's Fire Navy fleet and the Aang gang. The twist this time is that Zhao attempts the murder of Prince Zuko, an action that cannot go without consequences. As usual, Avatar is visually exciting and highly original, an otherworldly yet fully accessible fantasy full of dreams and good humor. --Tom Keogh
|Gatchaman Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
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Using amazing weapons powered by super-science, the international terrorist organization known as GALACTOR is out to steal all of Earth's resources for itself and its inhuman masters. Mankind's only hope? The International Science Organization and their elite strike force, the Science Ninja Team! But these five young heroes will have their work cut out for them as they take on the seemingly impossible task of defeating GALACTOR's horrific arsenal of mechanized weapons of mass destruction and endless armies of henchmen. Can costumed commandos Ken the Eagle, Joe the Condor, Jun the Swallow, Jinpei the Sparrow and Ryu the Owl really overcome such overwhelming odds? Utilizing the incredible technology and fighting techniques created by Dr. Nambu, and with the mighty ship the God Phoenix at their command, they just might! It's time for the bad guys to get old-schooled science-ninja style as Japan's original super team defeat evil, one flying kick at a time, in the legendary, one and only GATCHAMAN! "Includes the previously unreleased Gatchaman OVAs!"
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- Genre: ACTION/ADVENTURE
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|Grave of the Fireflies [Blu-ray]
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As the Empire of the Sun crumbles upon itself and a rain of firebombs falls upon Japan, the final death march of a nation is echoed in millions of smaller tragedies. This is the story of Seita and his younger sister Setsuko, two children born at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and now cast adrift in a world that lacks not the care to shelter them, but simply the resources. Forced to fend for themselves in the aftermath of fires that swept entire cities from the face of the earth, their doomed struggle is both a tribute to the human spirit and the stuff of nightmares. Beautiful, yet at times brutal and horrifying.
Isao Takahata's powerful antiwar film has been praised by critics wherever it has been screened around the world. When their mother is killed in the firebombing of Tokyo near the end of World War II, teenage Seita and his little sister Setsuko are left on their own: their father is away, serving in the Imperial Navy. The two children initially stay with an aunt, but she has little affection for them and resents the time and money they require. The two children set up housekeeping in a cave by a stream, but their meager resources are quickly exhausted, and Seita is reduced to stealing to feed his sister. Despite his efforts, she succumbs to malnutrition. Seita painfully makes his way back to the crowded city, where he quietly dies in a crowded railway station. The strength of the film lies in Takahata's evenhanded portrayal of the characters. A sympathetic doctor, the greedy aunt, the disinterested cousins all know there is little they can do for Seita and Setsuko. Their resources, like their country's, are already overtaxed: anything they spare endangers their own survival. As in Barefoot Gen, no mention is made of Japan's role in the war as an aggressor; but the depiction of the needless suffering endured by its victims transcends national and ideological boundaries. Takahata's extraordinary film suggests a flower on the grave of countless children who, like Seika and Setsuko, died needlessly in wars they neither fought nor understood. (Unrated: suitable for ages 12 and older, violence, emotionally intense material) --Charles Solomon
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|Akira: 25th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
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Brand: FUNIMATION PRODUCTIONS LTD.
Neo-Tokyo is about to E X P L O D E!
Akira isn’t just a movie – it’s the genesis of a genre. Katsuhiro Otomo’s landmark cyberpunk classic obliterated the boundaries of Japanese animation and forced the world to look into the future. Akira’s arrival shattered traditional thinking, creating space for movies like the The Matrix to be dreamed into brutal reality. Without Kaneda and Tetsuo, without espers and psionic assassins, without that badass motorcycle – our world would be a far less exciting place to exist. But the manga became the movie and the movie became a phenomenon and the world took notice. Now, Akira is everywhere. If you can’t see it in the streets – if you can’t feel it crawling around inside your brain – then you have yet to be initiated. What. Are. You. Waiting. For?
• Listen How You Want: The 25th Anniversary release of Akira features both English dubs that have occurred since 1988, letting you choose the track that’s best for you.
• An Audiophiles Dream: Includes the “Hypersonic” 24-Bit, 192kHz Dolby TrueHD remaster of the original Japanese audio track.
• Exploding with Extras: Packed with over 120 minutes of on-disc extra features; including the “Restoring Akira” documentary and original storyboards for the anime.
|Berserk: Golden Age Arc III - The Advent [Blu-ray]
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The visceral conclusion of the epic BERSERK The Golden Age Arc trilogy is finally here!
It s been a year since Griffith s imprisonment by the Kingdom of Midland. Once praised as the saviors of Midland, The Band of the Hawk has been on the run and is on the brink of breaking apart. Much to everyone s surprise, Guts returns to the Hawks and the search for Griffith begins!
Contains the Uncut, R18 version of the film along with exclusive interviews, art galleries, outtakes, original trailers and more. Japanese with English subtitles and English language included.
- Brand Name: Ingram Entertainment Mfg#: 782009242604
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|Space Battleship Yamato: Movie (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
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A cult classic from the glory days of anime blazes to life on the big screen in this feature-length sci-fi epic starring Takuya Kimura (Redline, Howl’s Moving Castle)!
The year is 2199. Mankind teeters on the brink of extinction as the Gamilas, a heinous race of alien invaders, wage an endless war for the right to inhabit the Earth. The last hope for humanity lies on the distant planet of Iskander, and the only battleship capable of attempting the journey is the legendary Yamato. Armed with the devastatingly-powerful Wave Motion Cannon, grizzled Captain Okita and the Yamato’s crew venture boldly into the darkest depths of space. The Gamilas attack at every turn, but fallen hero Susumu Kodai and ace pilot Yuki Mori fight side-by-side for the future of their world. Together, these young lovers unlock the secrets of Iskander – only to face a harrowing voyage home that will change their world forever!
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From one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of animated cinema comes the most acclaimed film of 2002. Hayao Miyazaki's latest triumph, filled with astonishing animation and epic adventure, is a dazzling masterpiece for the ages. It's a "wonderfully welcoming work of art that's as funny and entertaining as it is brilliant, beautiful, and deep" (Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal). SPIRITED AWAY is a wondrous fantasy about a young girl, Chihiro, trapped in a strange new world of spirits. When her parents undergo a mysterious transformation, she must call upon the courage she never knew she had to free herself and return her family to the outside world. An unforgettable story brimming with creativity, SPIRITED AWAY will take you on a journey beyond your imagination. "To enter the world of Hayao Miyazaki is to experience a kind of lighthearted enchantment that is unique to the world of animation" (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times). It's a fantastic tale the whole family will want to experience over and over again.
- A surreal journey through a magical spirit world
- A surreal journey through a magical spirit world that's reminiscent of The wizard of Oz and
|My Neighbor Totoro
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Visionary and Academy Award–winning director Hayao Miyazaki (2002, Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away) has created a heartwarming, music-filled, and wonderful world in My Neighbor Totoro, a delightfully animated family adventure. And now, exclusively in this special edition DVD, never-before-seen bonus features reveal even more of Totoro’s fantastic world! Follow the adventures of Satsuki and her four-year-old sister Mei when they move into a new home in the countryside. To their delight, they discover that their new neighbor is a mysterious forest spirit called Totoro—who can be seen only through the eyes of a child. Totoro introduces them to extraordinary characters—including a cat that doubles as a bus!—and takes them on an incredible journey. Bring home My Neighbor Totoro from Studio Ghibli and Disney for your family’s DVD library and experience the timeless classic film Roger Ebert calls “one of the very few that come along that are magical for all ages.”
My Neighbor Totoro is that rare delight, a family film that appeals to children and adults alike. While their mother is in the hospital, 10-year-old Satsuki and 4-year-old Mei move into an old-fashioned house in the country with their professor father. At the foot of an enormous camphor tree, Mei discovers the nest of King Totoro, a giant forest spirit who resembles an enormous bunny rabbit. Mei and Satsuki learn that Totoro makes the trees grow, and when he flies over the countryside or roars in his thunderous voice, the winds blow. Totoro becomes the protector of the two sisters, watching over them when they wait for their father, and carrying them over the forests on an enchanted journey. When the children worry about their mother, Totoro sends them to visit her via a Catbus, a magical, multilegged creature with a grin the Cheshire Cat might envy.
Unlike many cartoon children, Satsuki and Mei are neither smart-alecky nor cloyingly saccharine. They are credible kids: bright, energetic, silly, helpful, and occasionally impatient. Filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki makes the viewer believe the two sisters love each other in a way no American feature has ever achieved. My Neighbor Totoro is enormously popular in Japan, and some of the character merchandise has begun to appear in America. The film has also inspired a Japanese environmental group to buy a Totoro Forest preserve in the Saitama Prefecture, where Miyazaki's film is set. --Charles Solomon
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