Anime Film ‘The Deer King’ Coming to Digital Oct. 4, Blu-ray + DVD Oct. 18

Shout! Factory and GKIDS have announced the Oct. 18 release of the new animated film The Deer King in a Blu-ray Disc + DVD combo pack.

The disc release will be preceded by the film’s Oct. 4 availability on all major digital platforms, for both rental and purchase.

Bonus features include conversations with the voice cast, an introduction from director Masashi Ando, a design gallery, and more.

The Deer King is based on the award-winning fantasy novel series by author Nahoko Uehashi, which has sold over 2 million copies and won major literary awards. Animated by the Production I.G studio, the film marks the directorial debut of animator Ando, who previously worked as a character designer, animation director, and key animator with the famed Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke), and with directors Satoshi Kon and Makoto Shinkai. Co-director Masayuki Miyaji is best known for directing the 2009 series “Xam’d: Lost Memories” and work on Studio Ghibli films such as My Neighbors the Yamadas. Notable works from  Production I.G include Ghost in the Shell and the series “FLCL,” “Haikyu!!” and “Psycho Pass.”

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The Deer King is a story of survival. Following a brutal war, former soldier Van toils in a mine controlled by the ruling empire. One day, his solitary existence is upended when a pack of wild dogs carrying a deadly and incurable disease attack, leaving only Van and a young girl named Yuna as survivors. Finally free, the pair seek out a simple existence in the countryside but are pursued by nefarious forces. Intent on protecting Yuna at all costs, Van must uncover the true cause of the plague ravaging the kingdom — and its possible cure.

Two Acclaimed Anime Films Get Steelbook Treatment in October from Shout! Factory

Studio Ghibli and GKIDS, with distribution by Shout! Factory, in October will re-release My Neighbor Totoro (1988) and Princess Mononoke (1997), two Japanese animated films from Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki.

The films will be available Oct. 20 in a limited-edition Steelbook that includes a Blu-ray Disc and DVD combo pack, along with hours of bonus features and a booklet with art and statements from the filmmakers.

My Neighbor Totoro tells the story of a professor and his two young daughters, Satsuki and Mei, who move into a new home in the countryside, only to find life is not as simple there as it seems. They soon discover that the house and nearby woods are full of strange and delightful creatures, including a gigantic but gentle forest spirit called Totoro, who can only be seen by children.

Bonus features include feature-length storyboards, theatrical trailers, “Behind the Microphone”; textless opening and end credits; the featurettes “Creating My Neighbor Totoro,” “Creating the Characters,” “The Totoro Experience,” and “The Locations of My Neighbor Totoro”; a making-of featurette, “Producer’s Perspective: Creating Ghibli”; and an eight-page booklet with statements from the producer and director.

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Set in the late Muromachi period (1336-1573) in Japan, Princess Mononoke follows young warrior Ashitaka as he heads west in search of a cure for a deadly curse he’s been inflicted with. He stumbles into a bitter conflict between Lady Eboshi, the proud people of Iron Town, and the enigmatic Princess Mononoke, a young girl raised by wolves who will stop at nothing to prevent the humans from destroying her home and the forest spirits that live there.

Bonus features include feature-length storyboards, theatrical trailers, TV spots, a “Behind the Microphone” featurette; and an eight-page booklet with statements from the producer and director.