Part historical fantasy, part environmentalist drama, and part epic war tale Princess Mononoke is one of the most action-packed films of the Studio Ghibli catalogue. Ashitaka, a prince in 15th century Japan, is cursed by a demon that he kills while defending his village. Searching for a cure to the hex, Ashitaka meets Lady Eboshi of Irontown and her loyal clan of social outcasts. They’re at war with the forest gods because they’ve felled nearby trees to build their town. Amongst their enemies are the wolf-goddess Moro, her pack and the human girl they’ve raised as their own, San, the brave and fiery warrior Princess Mononoke (‘Spirit Princess’).
Why You Should See This Film
The highest-grossing film of all time in Japan at the time of its release, Princess Mononoke was the supernatural war epic that first brought Studio Ghibli to the attention of mainstream U.S. audiences. Hayao Miyazaki’s revolutionary animation aside, this was largely thanks to its star-studded English-dub release (featuring Billy Bob Thornton, Claire Danes and Gillian Anderson) and a series of clever script tweaks from fantasy writer Neil Gaiman. Inspired by traditional folklore, John Ford’s classic Westerns and the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia, it’s no surprise that Princess Mononoke was the first animated film to win Best Picture at the Japanese Academy Awards.
Please note this film will screen in Japanese with English subtitles.
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- Year: 1997
- Rating: M
- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Cast: Yôji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yûko Tanaka
- Duration: 134 minutes
- Language: Japanese with English Subtitles