If you've been holding off purchasing a copy of Hayao Miyazaki's masterpiece Princess Mononoke, you might want to get on that soon. Disney and Echo Bridge, the former distributor of Miramax's library, have confirmed through separate emails that the anime classic is currently unlicensed in the United States.
Previously, Disney's subsidiary Miramax held the rights to the film, giving it an extremely limited theatrical release with barely any advertising. Instead of releasing Princess Mononoke via Disney's Buena Vista Home Video Entertainment arm, it was released via Echo Bridge, who distributed Miramax's films at the time. Since Miramax has been cut loose by Disney and is currently working with The Weinstein Company, rights for the film have lapsed and not been renewed. There's no telling how many copies still exist -- the DVD release did much better than the theatrical release and it's still in stock on Amazon, so I'd assume there's still a good chance of finding it -- but for now, a potential DVD or Blu-ray rerelease is not happening.
It's a real shame, as Princess Mononoke exposed me to Miyazaki's talent for the first time, even if it was in a dubbed format. I would love to see Disney pick up the rights again, dust the film off for a Blu-ray release, and give it a more accurate dub per their current distribution agreement with Studio Ghibli. They did the same with My Neighbor Totoro when Fox Video's rights expired in 2004, so it's certainly a possibility.
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