6.5/10
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12 user 30 critic

Princess Raccoon (2005)

Operetta tanuki goten (original title)
Amechiyo (The banished prince) falls in love with Tanukihime (a princess of raccoon dog disguised to human). This is an Operetta which includes comedy, singing and dancing, and a love story.

Director:

Seijun Suzuki

Writer:

Yoshio Urasawa
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5 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ziyi Zhang ... Tanukihime
Joe Odagiri ... Amechiyo
Hiroko Yakushimaru Hiroko Yakushimaru ... Ohagi no tsubone
Mikijirô Hira ... Azuchi Momoyama
Tarô Yamamoto ... Ostrich Monk
Gentaro Takahashi Gentaro Takahashi ... Butler Raccoon
Saori Yuki Saori Yuki ... Virgen Hag
Miwako Ichikawa Miwako Ichikawa ... Kome
Hibari Misora Hibari Misora ... CG appearance
Eisuke Sasai Eisuke Sasai ... Yasuke
Papaya Suzuki Papaya Suzuki ... Junior Raccoon
Taro Nanshu Taro Nanshu
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Federico Aletta Federico Aletta ... Nan-bannjin (painter)
Akira Matsushita Akira Matsushita
Noriko Shiina Noriko Shiina
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Storyline

Amechiyo is being hunted by his father for being too beautiful and as he tries to escape he runs into Princess Raccoon, a raccoon in human form. They fall for each other, but humans and raccoons shouldn't mix so the raccoon court causes some trouble. She saves his life, then he saves hers by finding the Frog of Paradise on the Sacred Mountain and so forth, until the tragic finale. Written by poco loco

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The giant painting seen during the villains' rap scene is based on the oil painting, Andromeda, by Sir Edward John Poynter. See more »

Quotes

Ostrich Monk: Just maybe... I am a raccoon after all.
[subtitled version]
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Soundtracks

un'mei no wana
Written by Michiru Ôshima
Performed by Ziyi Zhang
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User Reviews

 
Sharply funny cultural deconstruction
21 November 2006 | by Quotation-of-DreamSee all my reviews

I use "Princess Raccoon" (to give the film its not-quite accurate English title) as a litmus test for my friends' sense of humour. It either leaves them cold and baffled - as it clearly did several other commentators on this site - or results in doubled-up laughter, unassailably huge grins and occasional gasps of admiration.

The laughter comes from the film's consummate mixture of parodies in contemporary style. Targets include a bouquet of Japanese and Western classical stage drama forms, from Kabuki to Late Shakespearian and Spanish renaissance Christian fantasy; the naff vacuity of the modern American and European musical, as witness a host of random tap- and rap- dance songs and some very funny banal lyrics, all choreographed with loving "amateur" cliché; Japanese anime and samurai live-action clichés; portentous Buddhist ritual; and the overweening sweetness of Viennese operetta. I've not laughed out loud so much at this type of film since Ken Russell's outrageous musical deconstruction in "The Boyfriend".

The grins come from the clever textual subversion of the Japanese legend, told in a traditional 5-act structure reminiscent of the plays of the 17th century master Chikamatsu. As in his work the narrative is advanced in a mixture of song, recitative, high-flown poetry and low comedy relief - here the pot-broiling of the incompetent ninja, Ostrich, by peasants under the illusion that he is a tanuki-raccoon in human guise. All of this somehow does hang together, and even more remarkably does manage to engage the watcher's emotions through the welter of cultural references.

In truth "Princess Raccoon" wears its pan-cultural garb with alluring lightness, and that's where the gasps of astonishment come in. Visually - again, as with Russell's masterpiece - the film is a treat, a riot of colour with its digitised backdrops of classical Japanese images from screens and prints, over-the-top costumes and stage sets, mixed with some breathtaking live action sequences in summer fields and seashores. You'll love it or loathe it, but there's no point castigating chalk for being cheese; and "Princess Raccoon" stands, first and foremost, as a wickedly funny as well as affectionate put-down of our contemporary cultural vacuity, in both East and West. Bravo!


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | Mandarin

Release Date:

28 May 2005 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Princess Raccoon See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,844
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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