Ashitaka, a prince of the disappearing Ainu tribe, is cursed by a demonized boar god and must journey to the west to find a cure. Along the way, he encounters San, a young human woman fighting to protect the forest, and Lady Eboshi, who is trying to destroy it. Ashitaka must find a way to bring balance to this conflict.
|Release Date||:||July 12, 1997|
|Genres||:||Adventure, Fantasy, Animation|
|Production Company||:||Studio Ghibli, Nibariki, Nippon Television Network (NTV)|
|Casts||:||Yōji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yūko Tanaka, Kaoru Kobayashi, Masahiko Nishimura, Tsunehiko Kamijô, Sumi Shimamoto, Tetsu Watanabe, Mitsuru Satô, Akira Nagoya, Akihiro Miwa, Mitsuko Mori, Hisaya Morishige, Takako Fuji|
|Plot Keywords||:||fight, wolf, village and town, iron, pan, wild boar, territory, friendship, princess, good vs evil|
Princess Mononoke is, without a doubt, one of the best films I have ever witnessed. There has never been an animated film even close to this -- I kept thinking after I left the theater, how can Disney even have the guts to make another film after seeing this? Even live action movies pale in comparison to Princess Mononoke. There has never been a film to pay such close attention to details. Watch for the magnificent and subtle flying insects throughout the film, especially in the ancient forest, where bioluminescent dragonflies glide gently around the screen. There are thousands of subtleties such as this. You'd have to see it a dozen times to appreciate this film fully. Aside from it being the most beautiful film I've ever seen, it also has an enormously powerful script. The characters are some of the the most well rounded in all film. Ashitaka especially, the main character of the film, is so nuanced that he has become in my mind one of the great characters in film, up there with Charles Foster Kane and Jake LaMotta. I would compare him to Freder, the main character of Fritz Lang's Metropolis. His role in the film is a mediator between the forces of humans and the gods of nature. Both sides comment several times that Ashitaka must be on the other side, when he is trying desperately to convince everyone that there are no sides. Peace is the way. There is a little to be desired in the American voice talent. Claire Daines was certainly a wrong choice for San (Princess Mononoke), and Billy Bob Thornton just could not hide his southern accent, which made the character of Jigo seem more comical than he was probably supposed to be. Gillian Anderson's voice clashed with her character, the wolf god Moro, a bit. It hardly affected my passion. The film was so spectacular and beautiful that James Earl Jones could have voiced San and it would have detracted little. Definitely, though, I'm praying that they release the DVD with subtitle options. Anyway, Princess Mononoke is the best film of 1999, the best film of the 1990's, and, in my personal top ten list, no lower than #5, but closer to #2. 12 hours later and my heart is still beating with the power of Princess Mononoke! America: SEE IT!