Posted: July 20, 2005
Previous reviews have addressed the incredible beauty of the artwork and the soundtrack, so I won't belabor those points except to say it is as beautifully drawn as any animation I've ever seen.
My reason for putting in my two cents worth is this: the movie deals with man's conflict/rapport with nature in a very mature and exciting way. There are no pure "bad guys" or "good guys". The nobility and crass greediness that reside in us all are fairly represented. This attitude creates a complex and thought provoking film that gives young people credit for their ability to grasp issues that are not simply black vs white, but have all the moral shadings of our actual world.
I was deeply moved by this sad yet uplifting tale, and I enthusiastically recommend all of Miyazaki's films as fine cinema that is suitable for all people who are old enough to deal with the occasionally frightening situations. I'm thinking maybe five yrs old and up.
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Posted: January 08, 2003
One word: Awesome. Miyazaki Hayo is a genius, and Studio Ghilbi has done masterful work with this particular film.
Set in feudal Japan, it follows the journey of Ashitaka, the outcast prince of the Amishi people. While defending his village from a boar god driven insane with rage, he is stricken with a curse that only the great Forest Spirit can remedy. With that, he sets out to find the Forest Spirit. When he reaches his destination, he finds that the people living here in Iron Town are at odds with the animals of the forest, and an all out war has broken out. To make matters worse, not only are the Iron Town folk at odds with the denizens of the forest, but also with a rival human lord and his army as well. And, in the middle of it all, is San, a young girl abandoned by her parents and raised by Moro, the wolf god. Due to her aliance with the wolves, she is called Mononoke Hime, or Princess of the Wolves. Ashitaka must find a middle ground between all of those involved, and at the same time try and save his own life from the curse inflicted upon him.
This is the beginning of what is nothing short of a masterwork. The colors, animation, story, voice acting, and music all come together marvelously. If you've got a beef with the Anime genre, then I reccomend you watch this film at least twice. I'm willing to bet your opinion that "Anime is just another cartoon" will change, drastically.
This film stood as the number one movie in Japan until it was unseated by the Teeny-Bopper-fueled "Titanic," which (thankfully) was replaced itself by another of Miazaki's masterpieces, "Sen to Chichiro no Kamikakushi" (The Spiriting Away of Sen and Chichiro, or simply Spirited Away). There's a reason for that, folks, and that is that this is one of the greatest animated films of all time.
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