Initially there were only three DVD versions to choose from - a single disc version with minimal extras and reasonable English subititles, a two disc version with more extras but very poor subtitles and the Memorial Box edition which added more extras and included the Polish DTS soundtrack
Since then a number of new editions have been released around the world, and the Memorial Box has been discontinued after being available for a year. The table below represents the best information I have about various international versions. Corrections and new information welcomed by email to web at ninesisters dot org.
The English subtitles on the Bandai two disc edition are poorly translated - avoid them. This pirate edition also suffers from the superimposing of an Anime Cartoon logo in one corner twice during the movie. At the moment the best edition with English subtities is the Korean Special Edition, which also includes the DTS soundtrack, however the picture is widescreen NTSC rather than PAL. There is currently no PAL edition with English subtitles, though the French Collector's Edition is strongly recommended if you can manage with the French subtitling (though choose the Belgian edition instead if you want the DTS soundtrack). Here's hoping that when a UK edition comes out it'll be to the standard of the French!
In December 2003 Miramax released a US edition. This has English and French dubs, plus English subtitles on the two special features. There are several voice-overs by Ash in the English dub which are unique to that edition. These may or may not have been influenced by Neil Gaiman's work on enhancing the subtitles - a look at Neil's site today indicated that he's not sure himself yet. See the thoughts page for more comments on this version. As the first English dub it's definitely worth having, but there are some subtle changes introduced by the dub tranlsation and the voiceovers.
In October 2004 Bluelight (part of the CanalPlus group) released the UK Region 2 DVD. It's an adequate release containing the 5.1 Polish sound plus English subtitles together with a couple of the making-of featurettes with English subtitles. So, which version should a UK shopper buy?
If your DVD player isn't multi-region there isn't much choice... get the UK Region 2 edition. The only alternative is the Anime Cartoon pirate disc, which has some very poor subtitling. If you have a multi-region player you have much more choice. If you want an English dub get the US Region 1 disc. If you want DTS sound and English subtitles get the Enter One Korean Special Edition.
An additional complication came to light in early 2005. There is now a 4 disc Memorial Box Set in circulation. I am currently unsure whether it's a pirate - information welcomed but if you are looking for Memorial Box take care - check whether it contains two discs and a book or four discs and two sheets of card with the menu navigation for the extra features on disc 3
There also appears to be a single disk circulating in the US (though likely imported) that claims to be a Memorial Edition too. I haven't seen this one first hand, though the report I had mentioned very poor transfer quality and a serious lack of any extras. This sounds very much like a pirate disk. Talking of possible pirates, I'm still uncertain about the 4 disk set (though I must admit I err on the side of it being genuine at the moment)
|Madman Region 4 Edition EYE208||Bluelight UK Region 2 Edition BLD24||Miramax Region 1 Edition (33181)||Panorama PANDVD112960 (Chinese edition)||Bandai (Japanese 2 disc edition) Anime Cartoon DVD212E||A-Film DS90028 (Dutch single disk)||A-Film DS90863 (Dutch twin disc)||StudioCanal 301057-9 (French Collectors' Edition)||Cineart 414218-402882 (Belgian)||Emotion BCBJ0866 (Japanese Memorial Box Set)||Emotion BCBJ0866/T-T-9404 (4 Disc Memorial Set)||Emotion BCBJ0867 (Single disc)||German||Enter One - Special Edition (Korean)|
|Discs||1||2||One||1||2||1||2||2 plus soundtrack CD||2||2||3 video plus soundtrack CD||1||1||2|
|Region||4 (and 2)||2||1||3||All (1)||2||2||2||2||3||3||3||2||3|
|Subtitles||English||English (on both film and extra material)||English, French||English, Chinese||English, Chinese||Dutch, French||Dutch, French||French||French, Dutch||English, Japanese||English, Japanese, Chinese||English, Japanese||German||Korean, English, Japanese|
|Sound||5.1 Polish, 2.0 Polish||5.1 Polish, 2.0 Polish||5.1 English dub, 5.1 French dub, 5.1 Polish||5.1 Polish, 2.0 Chinese||2.0 Japanese, 5.1 Polish||5.1 French, 5.1Polish||5.1 Polish, 5.1 French, DTS Polish||5.1 French, 5.1 Polish||5.1 Polish, 5.1 French, DTS Polish||5.1 Polish, 2.0 Japanese, DTS Polish||5.1 Polish, 2.0 Japanese, DTS Polish||5.1 Polish, 2.0 Japanese||5.1 German, 5.1 Polish||2.0 Japanese, 5.1 Polish, DTS Polish|
|Movie||16:9 PAL Anamorphic||16:9 PAL Anamorphic||16:9 NTSC||4:3 NTSC Letterbox||16:9 NTSC||16:9 PAL Anamorphic||16:9 PAL Anamorphic||16:9 PAL Anamorphic||16:9 PAL Anamorphic||16:9 NTSC||16:9 NTSC||16:9 NTSC||16:9 PAL Anamorphic||16:9 NTSC Anamorphic|
|Extras||Beyond Avalon, Trailer, Director Interview, Special Effects of Avalon||VFX Making and Days Of Avalon, both with optional English subtitles||Making Of, interview with Oshii (both with English/French subtitles)||3 trailers for other movies||Gate To Avalon, various Avalon trailers with 5.1 or 2.0 sound plus TV trailers||No extras||Making Of (71 min), Behind the Scenes special (110 min) special effects featurette (58 min) filmographies and interviews with producer and composer (20 min). Same content as Belgian Cineart twin disc set?||Masterclass, Storyboards, Photos, Kawai interview, French Web Site, Gate To Avalon, Avalon VFX Making, Days of Avalon, Oshii Interview, Soundtrack CD. French language or subtitling||Avalon trailer, other movie trailers, Gate To Avalon, Days Of Avalon, Avalon VFX Making, Filmographies for Oshii and Kawaii, Interviews with Oshii and Kawaii. DVD-ROM content: (a mini website with links to www.avalon-movie.com + www.cineart.be + www.escapelab.com , three screensavers and 12 desktop backgrounds (800x600 & 1024x768))||Pre-Production book including script/storyboards (Japanese). Disc 2 contains Days Of Avalon, VFX Making, Concept Art, various Avalon trailers with 5.1 or 2.0 sound plus TV trailers||Disc 1 and disc 2 are the same content as original Memorial Box. Disc 3 is Gate to Avalon but with an additional I haven't seen before... a menu selection called Access Point leads into a sequence of screens where code numbers are needed to navigate to 10 featurettes all in Japanese with Chinese subtitles available. Two reference cards are provided with the navigation for this area. Disc 4 is the soundtrack on CD. Note that there is no book in this edition||Various Avalon trailers with 5.1 or 2.0 sound plus TV trailers||Trailer (German and Polish), Game||Days of Avalon, Avalon VFX Making, Concept Art, various Avalon trailers with 5.1 sound plus TV trailers (ie almost identical to disc 2 of the Memorial Box)|
|Comments||Thanks to Gérard Kraus for this info.||At long long last there is a UK edition, however it is full of missed opportunities. The subtitling on the movie (which can't be turned off) is the standard English script, right down to US spellings of words like "favor". There is no DTS soundtrack.||This is the only English dub in circulation, and thus recommended if you can't stand the subtitles. Be aware though that the English version on here introduces some subtle changes in the dialogue, and that the voiceovers by Ash are unique to this version.||English subtitle translation is poor. Suffers from the superimposing of an Anime Cartoon logo in one corner twice during the film. This is a pirate disc - see http://www.digital.anime.org.uk/piratefaq.html for more information.||Info from Marcel Smetsers||Info from Marcel Smetsers||Aside from lacking DTS sound and English subtitles, this is a very classy edition||Although lacking English subtitles, this is the best disc for the movie at present with PAL widescreen and DTS sound both included||This box set is now discontinued. However the Korean Special Edition is near identical in disc content. Watch out for the 4 disc Memorial set which lacks the book but adds Gate To Avalon and the soundtrack. While this set is definitely authentic I am not sure yet about the 4 disc set||I'm not sure what to make of this... if it's not a pirate then it's a Chinese market re-issue of the Memorial Box. The reason I am uncertain it's a pirate is that the production values are high, eg the inclusion of two cards to navigate the extra content on disc 3. On the other hand, it's available via sources like Ebay at prices much below the original Memorial Box and the fact that these both use that name and BCBJ-0866 is just plain confusing||A very spartan disc, only recommended if the German soundtrack or subtitles are required||This is currently the best option for an English subtitle track, with the Polish DTS sound included too. Content is near-identical to the discontinued Memorial Box|