When Marnie Was There

WSR Score4.5
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Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Thematic elements and smoking.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Hiromasa Yonebayashi
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In the animated When Marnie Was There, shy, artistic Anna travels to the seaside to stay with relatives. There she stumbles upon an old mansion surrounded by marshes and the mysterious young girl, Marnie, who lives there. The two girls instantly form a unique connection and a friendship that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. As the days go by, a nearly magnetic pull draws Ana back to the Marsh House again and again, and she begins to piece together the truth surrounding her strange new friend. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a making-of featurette (HD 42:38), Yohei Taneda Creates The Art featurette (HD 17:14), behind-the-scenes with the voice cast (HD 12:39), feature-length storyboards, foreign trailers and TV spots, and the U.S. trailer.

The Japanese Studio Ghibli animated 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture quality is superb. The imagery is pristine and sharp, with fine detail exhibited throughout. The renderings are simple, yet intricate. The vibrant and varied color palette is nicely saturated with strong primaries and warm and rich hues. Blacks are deep and solid. Contrast is excellent. Even the animated fleshiness appears somewhat naturally hued. This is a beautiful visual experience, with wonderful colors and textures and is reference quality throughout. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audioô 5.0-channel soundtrack is offered both in Japanese and English ADR, and both are absent the .1 LFE channel. Still, fidelity is excellent, with good low-frequency weight, which enhances the more dynamic segments, such as thunder and treacherous waves. Atmospherics and Foley are extremely clean sounding, as well as nuanced and naturally realistic. Surround envelopment is aggressive, with directional presence. The orchestral music score is beautifully recorded with a wide and deep soundstage that extends to the surrounds. Both the Japanese and English versions are identical, with the exception of language. Dialogue is clear and intelligible. This is an excellent sonic experience, with a wonderful music score and effective surround envelopment. (Gary Reber)