At last, the soundtrack to a Studio Ghibli classic is getting its due for at-home listening. The score for “Princess Mononoke,” Hayao Miyazaki’s 1997 animated fantasy masterpiece, will get its first-ever vinyl release this summer from Norman Records. On July 24, Joe Hisaishi’s alternately epic and intimate classical-inspired score will roll out in three editions.
One release includes the original score as conducted by the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra, including main theme vocals by Yoshikazu Mera. A second edition will boast the “Symphonic Suite,” recorded a year after Miyazaki’s film originally came out, and newly performed with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Finally, there will also be the “Image Album,” made before the final soundtrack, which features many of Miyazaki’s notes and ideas for what the score could be.
The Vinyl Factory has the full release tracklists as well as cover art for the three editions. Below, revisit the “Main Theme” from “Princess Mononoke.” The entire soundtrack is also available to stream on Spotify.
Joe Hisaishi also provided scores for “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” “Porco Rosso,” “Spirited Award,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” “Ponyo,” and “The Wind Rises,” among many other films. He has won the Japanese equivalent of the Academy Award for Best Music seven times. In February, “Dream Songs: The Essential Joe Hisaishi” was released through Decca Gold, featuring 28 compositions from the maestro throughout his career.
In other Studio Ghibli news, a new, four-part documentary on the career of animation master and Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki is now available to watch in its entirety, and for free, online. Watch all four parts here. Released in 2019, “10 Years With Hayao Miyazaki” chronicles the life and decades of work of an iconic filmmaker, from “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Ponyo” to “Spirited Away” and “The Wind Rises.” The documentary also illuminates aspects of Miyazaki’s personal life, and his reflections on aging, as well as his relationship with his son, fellow filmmaker Gorō Miyazaki.
Studio Ghibli movies began streaming exclusively for the first time outside of North America on Netflix back in February. But as announced last year, HBO MAX secured streaming rights to Ghibli’s epic catalogue in North America, and 21 of those films will be available to stream once the service goes live in May.