Miyazaki’s Classic ‘Nausicaa’ and ‘Tales From Earthsea’ Arrive on Disc

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It’s a huge video week for fans of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli (and who isn’t a fan?).

This week sees the release of the film regarded by many as Miyazaki’s masterpiece: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Disney, $29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray). Originally released in Japan in 1984, this is the first high-definition release and features the 2005 English language re-dub, featuring the voices of Uma Thurman, Shia LeBeouf and Patrick Stewart.

Based on Miyazaki’s manga series, which he spent 12 years starting in 1982 creating, Nausicaa is the story of a post-apocalyptic princess fighting for peace in the far-flung future. This release includes bonus features “Behind the Microphone,” “The Birth Story of Studio Ghibli” and original TV trailers. The Blu-ray release includes exclusive features under the banner “World of Ghibli,” including “Behind the Studio,” “Enter the Lands,” “Studio Ghibli Trivia Challenge” and original Japanese storyboards.

Also out from Studio Ghibli is the DVD release of Tales from Earthsea (Disney, $29.99), directed by Goro Miyazaki, son of Hayao Miyazaki, and adapting the stories by science fiction author Ursula K. LeGuin. This release features an English dub starring Timothy Dalton, Willem Dafoe, Cheech Marin and Mariska Hargitay.

With Easter coming up, a pair of faith-based releases arrive featuring the VeggieTales. Up first is VeggieTales: Twas The Night Before Easter (Vivendi, $14.97). This release includes audio commentary, and bonus features such as “The Hopperena” Silly Songs Sing-Along, behind the voice of “Cassie” with Melinda Doolittle, Larry’s backstage pass to “VeggieTales Live!” and “Easter Cards” Interactive Matching Game.

That release is book-ended by the release  of Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (Vivendi, $19.98 Blu-ray/DVD combo pack).

Other kid-friendly releases this week include SpongeBob SquarePants: The Great Patty Caper (Paramount, $16.98), The Backyardigans: We Arrrr Pirates! (Paramount, $16.99), Care Bears Classic Collection (Lionsgate, $9.98) and Madeline on the Town (Vivendi, $12.99).

Anime fans also have Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season 1, Part 4 (FUNimation, $49.98 DVD, $54.98 Blu-ray) to check out.

And the best visual-effect release of the week is The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season (Anchor Bay, $39.98 DVD, $49.99 Blu-ray), collecting the hit AMC series based on Robert Kirkman’s Image Comics series.