Ghiblink reported today in its Disney News newsgroup that according to an inside source, Disney is planning on releasing a subtitled version of Kiki's Delivery Service, the Miyazaki film that is first on the list of Disney releases.
While it obviously won't be ready in time for a simultaneous release with the dubbed version, which is slated for a September 1 release (pushed up from the 22nd), the release is planned to have a faithful translation, and have totally unaltered music. (The dubbed version, which features the voices of Kirsten Dunst and the late Phil Hartman, has additional music from Jo Hisaishi's image soundtracks added, as well as a new end theme by Sydney Forest.) A VHS release of the subtitled version is expected late this year. A Bilingual LD is set to be released simultaneously with the dubbed videocassette, but the Japanese audio track will be mono due to the English version being encoded in Dolby Digital AC-3, and it is not expected to have subtitle closed-captioning, but real closed-captioning for the English audio track. A bilingual DVD has not yet been announced.
Disney's next Ghibli feature will be the 1989 Miyazaki film "Laputa: Castle in the Sky", which, at this time, is slated for a March release (sticking to the company's hope to release one Ghibli film every six months), although since they have not announced an English cast as of yet, many fans expect that the title will be delayed. The name will be shortened to simply "Castle in the Sky," due to the fact that Miyazaki did not know that Jonathan Swift was a satirist, and when he based the premise around his book Gulliver's Travels, the name "Laputa" turned out be a Spanish insult, meaning "diseased prostitute."
The fate of other Ghibli films depends heavily on how well Kiki's Delivery Service sells. A warm reception by the American public could mean a theatrical release for other Ghibli films, such as Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind and Pon-Poko: The War of the Tanuki.