Operetta PRINCESS RACCOON Premium Edition (Japan Version) DVD Region 2
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YesAsia Editorial Description
Released internationally as Princess Raccoon, the film centers on the lovely and talented Zhang Ziyi who plays Tanuki-hime, a raccoon spirit princess who suddenly falls in love with Amechiyo (Bright Future's Odagiri Jo), a handsome prince who finds himself exiled from his vainglorious father's kingdom. Will the two lovers stay together or will fate tear them apart?
With its kaleidoscope of top of the line special effects, surreal painted backdrops, and self-consciously theatrical soundstages, Operetta Tanuki-Goten is a psychedelic, hallucinatory, and ultimately joyous cinematic experience, making it a true spectacle in every sense of the word! After undergoing extensive training, lead actress Zhang Ziyi dances, speaks in Japanese, and even sings a few tunes in Mandarin to complete the zany, "anything goes" mentality of both the film and director Suzuki himself. With performance styles ranging from operetta and kabuki to rap and reggae, Operetta Tanuki-Goten is a delirious, fantasia-like tale of forbidden romance that emphasizes the importance of following one's heart!
Special features include a making-of featurette, cast & director interviews featuring Zhang Ziyi and Joe Odagiri, picture-labeled disc and more. Also, the first pressing includes a deluxe 16-page booklet and special packaging.
|Product Title:||Operetta PRINCESS RACCOON Premium Edition (Japan Version) Operetta 狸御殿 Premium Edition (日本版) Operetta PRINCESS RACCOON Premium Edition (Japan Version) オペレッタ 狸御殿 プレミアム・エディション プレミアム・エディション Operetta PRINCESS RACCOON Premium Edition (Japan Version)|
|Artist Name(s):||Zhang Ziyi | Yamamoto Taro | Odagiri Joe | Ichikawa Miwako | Shinoi Eisuke | Yuki Saori | Hira Mikijiro | Yakushimaru Hiroko | Suzuki Papaya | Misora Hibari | Suzuki Seijun | Gentarou Takahashi 章子怡 | 山本太郎 | 小田切讓 | 市川實和子 | 篠井英介 | Yuki Saori | 平幹二朗 | 藥師丸博子 | Papaya Suzuki | Misora Hibari | 鈴木清順 | 高橋元太郎 章子怡 | 山本太郎 | 小田切让 | 市川实和子 | 篠井英介 | Yuki Saori | 平干二朗 | 药师丸博子 | Papaya Suzuki | Misora Hibari | 铃木清顺 | 高桥元太郎 章子怡（チャン・ツィイー） | 山本太郎 | オダギリジョー | 市川実和子 | 篠井英介 | 由紀さおり | 平幹二朗 | 浦沢義雄(脚本) | 大島ミチル(音楽) | 矢部一男(照明) | 前田米造(撮影) | 木村威夫(プロダクションデザイナー) | 白井良明(音楽) | 浦沢義雄 | 薬師丸ひろ子 | パパイヤ鈴木 | 美空ひばり | 鈴木清順 | 高橋元太郎 | オダギリ・ジョー 장쯔이 | Yamamoto Taro | 오다기리 죠 | Ichikawa Miwako | Shinoi Eisuke | Yuki Saori | Hira Mikijiro | Yakushimaru Hiroko | Suzuki Papaya | Misora Hibari | Suzuki Seijun | Gentarou Takahashi|
|Publisher Product Code:||GNBD-1107|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
|Region Code:||2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?|
|Publisher:||Geneon Universal Entertainment|
|Shipment Unit:||2 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1004048263|
鈴木清順 (監督) / 浦沢義雄 (脚本) / チャン・ツィイー / オダギリジョー
製作国 : 日本 (Japan)
公開年 : 2004
Other Versions of "Operetta PRINCESS RACCOON Premium Edition (Japan Version)"
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Hong Kong Version
- Princess Raccoon (VCD) (Hong Kong Version) VCD
- Out of Print
- Tanuki Goten AKA: Princess Raccoon (DTS Version) (DVD+Poster) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All
- Out of Print
- Tanuki Goten AKA: Princess Raccoon (DTS Version) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All
- Out of Print
- Princess Raccoon (DVD) (Deluxe Edition) (Japan Version) DVD Region 2
- Out of Print
- Princess Raccoon (DVD) (DTS) (Special Edition) (Korea Version) DVD Region 3
- Out of Print
- Princess Raccoon (DTS Version) (Taiwan Version) DVD Region All
- Temporarily Out of Stock
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "Operetta PRINCESS RACCOON Premium Edition (Japan Version)"
This professional review refers to Tanuki Goten AKA: Princess Raccoon (DTS Version) (DVD+Poster) (Hong Kong Version)
One of the great directors of Japanese Cinema, Suzuki Seijun has always created films that are far from conventional. Best known for his unique 1960s gangster movies Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill, the legendary director is still making films at the age of 82 in a style that is uniquely his own. His latest film, Princess Raccoon, is a colorful fairy-tale based on one of the many Japanese mythology tales about tanuki - raccoon creatures that have the power to take the shape of humans. Filmed and directed as a stage musical or operetta, with heavily stylized and theatrical set designs drawn from a vast range of references, it all nevertheless adds up to a coherent, consistent, and original piece of filmmaking.
The most beautiful person in the world is Azuki Momoyama (Hira Mikijiro), the King of Garasa Castle, as the Old Maid Virgin will testify. And she does, continually, to satisfy the vanity of the king. However, she warns him that he has a rival - things are changing and soon the King's son Prince Amechiyo (Odagiri Joe) will surpass the King's beauty. The King won't have that and has already banished his wife for the very same reason, so Priest Ostrich is duly dispatched to carry out the same punishment, banishing Prince Amechiyo to the Sacred Mountain.
To reach the mountain Ostrich and Amechiyo must pass through Raccoon Forest, where the creatures of the forest inhabit the shape of humans. Ostrich is captured by a couple of villagers who mistake him for one of the raccoons and prepare to make him into a soup. Amechiyo, however, is rescued by the beautiful Princess Raccoon (Zhang Ziyi). Love between man and raccoon is of course impossible and destined to be fruitless. Nonetheless, despite their differences and warnings from Princess Raccoon's maid that "man is an epidemic" that threatens to destroy the Raccoon Palace, the Prince and Princess fall in love. While they are together, they sing in perfect harmony and peace and love reign in the world. But it is not destined to last.
"Love between man and raccoon is of course impossible and destined to be fruitless." Somehow in all my time of reviewing DVDs, I never thought I'd end up writing a sentence like that. But then again, I've never seen a film like Princess Raccoon. And that, primarily, has to be the only kind of judgement you can make about this film. Objective considerations about whether it is good or bad really count for nothing, since there is no comparable frame of reference for such an enterprise.
Oh, it's easy enough to spot numerous cultural references, since the film abounds in various visual and musical appropriations - but rarely, if ever, have so many instances of high-art and low-art been mixed to such an unusual effect. Thus imagery and techniques from Akira Kurosawa's Dreams and Cocteau's La Belle et la Bête are mixed with scenes and a plot that plays out like a cross between Mozart's The Magic Flute and the Japanese TV series Monkey. Van Gogh style paintings are used as backgrounds to colorful characters made up in Jeff Koons kitsch art poses. Kabuki, operetta and avant-garde theatre are mixed with pantomime and Jacques Demy musicals, filmed like a Michel Gondry pop video (Björk's Human Behaviour comes very much to mind). And of course, its musical eclecticism is equally wide and all-inclusive, ranging from operetta and hip-hop to power-rock and calypso.
It sounds hideous, does it not? And I'm sure many people will regard it with horror and incomprehension, as many have also done with a couple of other recent Asian excursions into musical theatricality - Kitano Takeshi with Zatoichi and Tsai Ming Liang with The Wayward Cloud. What both these directors managed to achieve, however, was to bring these elements into their films in a manner that was uniquely their own and thereby bring something out of them that could not have otherwise been achieved by conventional means. Likewise, Princess Raccoon brings these elements into the cinema of Suzuki Seijun in a way that is unique to the director. There are no gangsters in this film, but fans of the director will recognize the stylistic traits easily enough and it seems an obvious extension from the theatricality of his last film Pistol Opera. A master of color and composition, of mixing high art and popular culture, Suzuki Seijun's stylistic excesses in Princess Raccoon are camped up so far that they come out the other side as a unique concoction that is beyond definition and, I believe, criticism. It's therefore pointless to try to analyze the plot or style and objectively present an argument either for or against it. It is what it is, and what it is, for better or worse, is Suzuki Seijun.
Interviews (46:50) - This is actually a long making of, with a fair amount of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with cast and crew on-set interspersed throughout. It covers everything from a nervous-looking Zhang Ziyi at what appears to be the first meeting with a sprightly-looking 82-year-old Suzuki where they check out her costume fitting, through to the actual filming of many of the scenes. Unfortunately, there are no English subtitles supplied for this feature.
Databank - A basic synopsis is provided in Chinese and broken English, as well as basic cast and crew information.
by Noel Megahey - DVD Times
This professional review refers to Tanuki Goten AKA: Princess Raccoon (DTS Version) (Hong Kong Version)
If things work out as appears likely and octogenarian director Seijun Suzuki's failing health means that Princess Raccoon is his final work then give this to the man: he is going out on top of his game. Though he has not trodden this particular ground before, Princess Raccoon is quintessentially a Suzuki picture. From the opening frames right through to the end there is simply nobody else on this planet who could possibly lay claim to this particular brand of lunatic genius. It is perplexing, wildly self indulgent, breathtakingly beautiful, and home to so many strange twists of logic and "What the hell?" moments that you are left breathless just trying to keep up. To the uninitiated it may very well prove to be nothing more than infuriating, but history will very likely place this in the absolute top tier of Suzuki's work, right alongside Branded To Kill.
Borrowing liberally from the story of Snow White along with strong influences from kabuki, Princess Raccoon tells the story of Prince Amechiyo (Odagiri Joe), the heir to the Garasa Castle. Amechiyo has a significant problem. When his father, the incredibly vain King Azuki is told that, although he is still the most beautiful person in the land, his beauty is fading and will soon be surpassed by that of his son, Azuki does what any self respecting narcissist would do and orders that his son be put to death, just as his mother was earlier, for presumably the same reason. Amechiyo is to be taken to the Sacred Mountain to die, but on the way must pass through territory controlled by the tanuki, the mysterious shape-changing raccoon-like creatures of Japanese legend. While there he meets and falls in love with the tanuki princess who appears in the form of a beautiful young woman (Zhang Ziyi) speaking a strange language he can't understand. From there we have the story of their forbidden love, set against the conflict triggered by Azuki's expansionist plans that threaten the tanuki lands.
What has always set Suzuki apart from other filmmakers is his love for the artifice of Cinema. While others may strive to overcome the technology to create something as "real" and "natural" as possible, Suzuki veers in the absolute opposite direction, embracing artifice and emphasizing the "otherness" of his creations. With Princess Raccoon he takes this love of the artificial to his farthest extremes, fusing obvious theatrical elements with CG compositing, richly painted backdrops, wildly fantastical sets, and a host of animation techniques. This goes beyond the kitchen sink, with Suzuki going and creating an entirely new range of kitchen appliances to throw into the mix as well. The visuals are simply stunning, and that Suzuki manages to take this immense stew of influences and approaches and fuse them into a whole that legitimately hangs together and follows a sort of surreal logic, is a huge testament to the man's immense talents.
Perhaps making the strangeness of the film more palatable - while also adding to it considerably - is the fact that the film is a full on musical with influences just as wide-ranging as the visual ones. There are tap dance sequences, traditional chant, cheesy power ballads and even a good bit of rap. There aren't any musical numbers likely to go tearing up the pop charts but all of the performers are solid enough and the blend of styles works remarkably well; the rap, in particular, fits shockingly well into the world Suzuki has created.
The DVD release from Silver Kent is somewhat mixed. The special features come without subtitles while the subtitles on the feature, although perfectly understandable, are far from perfect with many obvious grammatical problems throughout. The transfer is anamorphic and strong enough, but if ever there was a film that screamed "Get the format war over with so we can get this in high def!", this is the one.
Rich, colorful and entrancing, this is film that is proud to be film, film that could not be anything else. Suzuki is very much a hit and miss director for audiences, inspiring either absolute love or hate with very little in between, but for those who love him this is absolutely, without a doubt, an essential work.
Review By Todd Brown - Twitchfilm.net
Customer Review of "Operetta PRINCESS RACCOON Premium Edition (Japan Version)"
See all my reviews
January 8, 2006
Truly Delightful and Enchanting
Last Sunday I was very fortunate to see acclaimed Japanese director Seijun Suzukis truly delightful and enchanting musical film operetta at a special BAFTA/Japanese Embassy Premiere in London. Its immense charm and attraction was the various mixture of diverse artistic, colourful and visual presentation styles and content, ranging from real locations, theatrical, operatic to scenic art backdrops. Combining these settings with tap dancing, ballet, folk songs, hip-hop, rock and roll, merging Eastern and Western classic and modern music styles, all beautifully rolled into one. All of these elements were executed with such panache, flair and elegance, by the cast and director, who all seemed to be having such fun! The mythical age-old story is really about love triumphing over adversity, and good over evil, but with a modern edge. This fairy-tale was so enjoyable because of the many messages (some quite subtle) contained and conveyed within the storyline. Popular Japanese heartthrob Joe Odagiri performs well as Prince Ameychiyo and Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi is appealing as Tanuki-hime, proving once again how chameleon like she is, able to adapt to any role she takes on, with an amazing maturity well beyond her years. The varied music soundtrack fitted well and the songs are catchy. Long live the Raccoons, (I might just have become one?)!
AnthonyKamHo 9th September 2005