The Borrower Arrietty Blu-Ray and Ghibli's Future
How fast is this? The Borrower Arrietty is coming to DVD and Blu-Ray in France this coming July. I still haven't heard a word about any theatrical release. Hmm...this is unexpected. On the upside, this announcement means the Japanese DVD/BD will likely arrive in the summer. On the downside, it may just skip theaters in the West altogether and head straight to home video.
I am concerned that Disney or Pixar have made no announcements about Arrietty in the USA. Usually, we would have early press by now. We would know the names of cast members, and have a general idea of a late summer release. So far, only silence. This doesn't sound good. Studio Ghibli is moving firmly into its post-Miyazaki era, and we need to know if Disney intends to continue their relationship.
Ultimately, the Disney suits may decide that their relationship was with Hayao Miyazaki, not his movie studio. They were only really intersted in Totoro and Kiki and maybe anything created in the future that fit into their market. But Ghibli was in a very strong position, being courted by all the major Hollywood studios, and they could afford to dictate terms. But Miyazaki is now in the process of passing the torch to the next generation, and the terms of the old agreement may no longer apply.
Of course, I don't know the answers one way or another. And readers will gently needle me for being impatient and cranky with Disney. That may be true. This will be a period of uncertaintly, and no firm committments will be made by any parties. Heck, Ghibli has yet to decide whether to continue after Miyazaki, or shut down completely. Thank God Arrietty was a blockbuster smash hit in Japan. The studio needs a couple home runs to secure its future...and now Goro is up next.
This is where the business side of things start to become real interesting. Ghibli's fate may be decided in these next 12 months. And we're going to get another Ghibli Blu-Ray in six months.