You want PONYO on BluRay but live in Europe with a region B locked player?

Associate Editor, Features; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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You want PONYO on BluRay but live in Europe with a region B locked player?

(UPDATED: Madman just confirmed that they have cancelled the BluRay release, and cghanged the 2-disc DVD edition into a single-disc.)


Don't you hate it when choice titles appear on BluRay in Japan and the USA, but the distributors stubbornly keep using the outdated and ridiculously piracy inducing non-effective security method called regioncoding?

Well, when you live in Europe (like me) you do hate that. Because of regioncoding I can't play any of the Criterion BluRays, and that sucks.

Another case in point: we have reported extensively on the upcoming "Ponyo on the Cliff" BluRays from Japan and the USA, and rightly so because that will be the first Studio Ghibli title available on High Definition. Big news for anime lovers (again, like ME) to be sure.

Trouble is, all of these versions will be coded Region A, meaning they can only be played on Japanese or American BluRay players. Or regionfree, but ironically those are difficult to get when you're OUTSIDE either Japan or the US...


But what's that? Light on the horizon?

Distributor Madman from Australia has just anounced its very own BluRay release of "Ponyo" , and it will be coded region B. No further details are known except the cover and a release date (December 29th, not much after the region A goes on sale) but Madman has been very smart with its anime releases in the last few years, choosing the best transfers and ditching the worst extras, and releasing surprisingly good DVDs often for far lower prices than similar releases from other countries.

Retail price is currently set on 45 Australian Dollars (AUD), which today happens to equal 28 Euro or 25 British Pounds... 

This news is straight from their own site.      

(UPDATE: Unfortunately so is this...  )

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More about Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea 1, 2009 8:51 PM

If Optimum Releasing considered Persepolis worthy of a Blu-ray Disc release I'm sure they will do the same for Ponyo in time.

Anyway, I'm too busy being excited about the even semi-announced UK Blu-ray Disc of La Planète sauvage (1973) to point that I'm feverently checking the Masters of Cinema Twitter feed twice a day for any suggestion of a release date…

Ard VijnOctober 2, 2009 5:08 AM

True, and the Optimum discs for Studio Ghibli titles have been top quality so far. Their version of "Howl's Moving Castle" blew the Japanese one straight out of the water on image quality, and might still be the best worldwide.

Thing is, I don't know if Optimum has the distribution rights for "Ponyo" on BluRay in the UK. Elsewhere in Europe, France will have a version out but it will be released by Disney Home Video, same as in Japan (and English subs for the French edition have not been verified so far).

So far this is the only Region B disc I know of that is certified to have English subs on it.