On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.
While protecting his village from rampaging boar-god/demon, a confident young warrior, Ashitaka, is stricken by a deadly curse. To save his life, he must journey to the forests of the west. Once there, he's embroiled in a fierce campaign that humans were waging on the forest. The ambitious Lady Eboshi and her loyal clan use their guns against the gods of the forest and a brave young woman, Princess Mononoke, who was raised by a wolf-god. Ashitaka sees the good in both sides and tries to stem the flood of blood. This is met by animosity by both sides as they each see him as supporting the enemy.Written by
Hayao Miyazaki: [pigs] The tribe of boars, one of which is the demon Ashitaka fights in the beginning. See more »
When Ashitaka first visits the Forest Spirits home, he spots the Spirit's traces (shape of his hooves) underneath the water surface. But later in the movie, the spirit is seen as a walking surface, which is regarded as a goof. It isn't. The spirit, shishigami, can do whatever it pleases. See more »
In ancient times, the land lay covered in forests, where, from ages long past, dwelt the spirits of the gods. Back then, man and beast lived in harmony, but as time went by, most of the great forests were destroyed. Those that remained were guarded by gigantic beasts who owed their allegiances to the Great Forest Spirit. For those were the days of gods and of demons...
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When aired on Canadian cable channel, YTV, a slightly different earlier "rough-cut" version of the English dub aired instead of the theatrical version. This version features some different dialogue such as in the scene where Lady Eboshi first sees San, she calls her "Wolf beast" instead of "Princess Mononoke". The singing of the movie's theme is also left in Japanese and not dubbed into English for this version. See more »
The first time I saw Princess Mononoke I was completely moved and surprised. Since it was a Studio Ghibli film dubbed by Disney I liked the fact that it wasn't a "they all lived naively ever after" film. There were no complete "good" or "bad" guys. Even Lady Eboshi the most antagonist character in the movie had a reasonable motive for trying to get rid of the animal gods and cutting down the forest. Although it her actions were environmentally damaging and wrong in general, she did it to help her people survive which is what all the species on Earth strive for. Another wonderful aspect of the plot is that it sends a message - Protect the Earth and all will survive in peace - a message either discreetly or strongly portrayed in many of Miyazaki's films. Perhaps the portrayal of this message (and the tiny hint of San and Ashitaka's romance and Moro's views on nature) was what made the film so touching to me.
Like many Miyazaki movies, the animation (as always) is wonderful and nicely detailed which is also another quality that genuine Disney films lack (thank goodness for Studio Ghibli). The music was beautiful and well suited to the movie.
The only predicament to the movie is that it is a bit downbeat and does not contain much happy laughter (oh well, I can watch My Neighbor Totoro - also a good movie - for happy laughter.).
10/10 - And my favourite movie of all time.
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