The film was licensed for Region 1 release by Bandai Entertainment, which gave the film a theatrical release on January 25, 2002. A soundtrack and two drama CDs have also been released in Japan by Victor Entertainment in relation to the series.
Hitomi Kanzaki is in crisis. Her life has lost its meaning, and she is plagued by unusual dreams. She is depressed and wants nothing more than to disappear. After falling out with her only friend she is mysteriously summoned to another world, Gaea, where she finds herself inside Escaflowne, a doomsday weapon destined to come to life at the appearance of a prophesied "wing goddess". The world of Gaea is facing its own crisis: relentless conquest by the Black Dragon Clan, the rebels against which become convinced that Hitomi is the prophesied goddess who will revive Escaflowne. Never certain of her identity in Gaea, Hitomi finds her destiny as she becomes closer to the rebel leader, Lord Van, and helps to bring about the fall of his vengeful brother Lord Folken, the master of the Black Dragon Clan.Maaya Sakamoto as Hitomi Kanzaki
Kelly Sheridan as Ocean dub voice of Hitomi
Caitlin Glass as Funimation dub voice of Hitomi
Tomokazu Seki as Van
Kirby Morrow as Ocean dub voice of Van
Aaron Dismuke as Funimation dub voice of Van
Jōji Nakata as Folken
Paul Dobson as Ocean dub voice of Folken
Vic Mignogna as Funimation dub voice of Folken
Mayumi Iizuka as Yukari / Sora
Willow Johnson as Ocean dub voice of Yukari
Sylvia Zaradic as Ocean dub voice of Sora
Jad Saxton as Funimation dub of Yukari / Sora
Minami Takayama as Dilandau
Andrew Francis as Ocean dub voice of Dilandau
Joel McDonald as Funimation dub voice of Dilandau
Kōji Tsujitani as Jajewca
Scott McNeil as Ocean dub voice of Jajewca
Chuck Huber as Funimation dub voice of Jajewca
Shinichirô Miki as Allen
Brian Drummond as Ocean dub voice of Allen
Sonny Strait as Funimation dub voice of Allen
Ikue Ōtani as Merle
Jocelyn Loewen as Ocean dub voice of Merle
Alexis Tipton as Funimation dub voice of Merle
Kappei Yamaguchi as Shesta
Trevor Devall as Ocean dub voice of Shesta
Chris Cason as Funimation dub voice of Shesta
Jūrōta Kosugi as Dryden
Michael Dobson as Ocean dub voice of Dryden
Eric Vale as Funimation dub voice of Dryden
Takashi Matsuyama as Nukushi
Brian Dobson as Ocean dub voice of Nukushi
Cris George as Funimation dub voice of Nukushi
Aki Takeda as Millerna
Venus Terzo as Ocean dub voice of Millerna
Colleen Clinkenbeard as Funimation dub voice of Millerna
Tōru Ōkawa as Gaddes
Ward Perry as Ocean dub voice of Gaddes
Ian Sinclair as Funimation dub voice of Gaddes
Escaflowne varies greatly from the original The Vision of Escaflowne series. With character re-designs by Nobuteru Yūki, the film focuses on the relationship between Van and Hitomi and their personal issues. The characters themselves are also given different personalities, with the film Hitomi changing from a cheerful girl in love to a depressed, suicidal schoolgirl who is suffering from self-induced feelings of loneliness and alienation. Van is also depicted as being more lonely and emotionally reserved, as well as being far more aggressive and willing to slay any perceived enemies than his more pacifistic series counterpart.
Although the Vision of Escaflowne series had been produced by Sunrise, the animation for the film was handled primarily by studio Bones, a company founded by a number of ex-Sunrise staff. It was the first Bones feature film production. Studio co-founder Hiroshi Ōsaka and character designer Nobuteru Yūki split the animation director duties, with Ōsaka heading up production at Bones. Some of the film's action sequences were assigned to the studio's animators as talent showcases, notably including Yutaka Nakamura (who animated nearly a minute and a half of the opening sword fight without assistance).
The soundtrack was, as with the Vision of Escaflowne series, composed mostly by Yoko Kanno in collaboration with Hajime Mizoguchi.
The first European presentation was on January 19, 2001, during the Future Film Festival in Bologna (Italy). The North American theatrical premiere was on January 25, 2002, in select cities, including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, and Vancouver. The North American television premiere was September 10, 2005, on the Cartoon Network programming block Adult Swim, after airing on [adult swim] on demand.
Bandai Visual released the film to DVD in a two-disc limited edition set on April 25, 2001. Packed in a limited edition art box, the release included a 36-page booklet on history of the film, as well as on-disc interviews with staff and cast and the theatrical trailers and television commercials. The film was released to Blu-ray disc on January 28, 2008.
Formerly licensed by Bandai Entertainment, Escaflowne was first released to Region 1 DVD on July 23, 2002, in "Standard" and "Ultimate" editions. The Ultimate Edition included premium packaging, the CD soundtrack, an exclusive Maaya Sakamoto music video, interviews from the theatrical premiere events, and interviews with the staff and cast. On September 13, 2005, the film was re-released as part of Bandai's "Anime Legends" line, including many of the extras from the Ultimate Edition, including the CD soundtrack and interviews. The film was given another re-release on February 6, 2007 under Bandai's "Anime Movie Classics" label. Unlike the "Anime Legends" release, this version uses the same cover art and CD as the original standard DVD release. Bandai Entertainment also included the Ultimate Edition release of the movie in its 2004 "Perfect Collection" DVD set of the original Vision of Escaflowne anime series. Bandai released a Blu-ray version of the film on October 20, 2009. At Otakon 2013, Funimation Entertainment had announced that they have rescued both The Vision of Escaflowne and the movie. Both the movie and The Vision of Escaflowne were re-released in 2016 with a new English dub.Soundtrack
The Escaflowne OST was released on July 5, 2000 and contains twenty-six tracks, including the movie's full opening and ending themes. Yoko Kanno and Hajime Mizoguchi composed and produced the movie's musical themes and backgrounds. Vocal performers include Maaya Sakamoto, Shanti Snyder, Midori, Children of Adom — Vocals and the Warsaw Chorus.
In North America, the soundtrack was released with the Ultimate Edition Region 1 DVD release on July 23, 2002 and with the "Anime Legends" re-release on September 13, 2005. The CD has not, however, been given an individual release.Drama CDs
Victor Entertainment released two drama CDs: Escaflowne Prologue 1: Earth and Escaflowne Prologue 2: Gaea were both released on October 21, 2000 and originally broadcast as part of the Bunka Hoso radio show. Both drama CDs are out-of-print in Japan.