THE FATE OF THE WORLD RESTS ON THE COURAGE OF ONE WARRIOR.
Ashitaka, a warrior who suffers from a curse, ends up in the middle of a conflict between humans who are wrecking the forest, and its creatures who are accompanied by a girl called “Princess Mononoke”. The movie that helped bring greater international attention to the work of Hayao Miyazaki received widespread acclaim. Its sheer length and occasionally confusing story elements are obstacles, but the director does offer striking images, exciting action sequences and a complexity in characters and mythology. His environmental message has a magical touch, and that goes for the forest milieu as well. The film is too bloody for kids, though.
1997-Japan. Animated. 134 min. Color. Produced by Toshio Suzuki. Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Music: Joe Hisaishi. Voices of Yôji Matsuda (Ashitaka), Yuriko Ishida (San/Mononoke-Hime), Yûko Tanaka (Eboshi-gozen), Kaoru Kobayashi, Masahiko Nishimura, Tsunehiko Kamijô.
Trivia: Original title: Mononoke-hime. Neil Gaiman worked on the English-language version; Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Minnie Driver, Billy Bob Thornton, Gillian Anderson and Jada Pinkett Smith provided voices.
Last word: “There are many stories about trees giving curses (Tatari) in the Western part of Japan. Such folklore, or something that goes back to our distant memories, remains strongly in Japanese culture. People on Yakushima Island didn’t cut the trees. They thought that cutting trees would bring about a curse. Trees are beings that make us feel that way. I learned it when I went to Yakushima. When they decided to cut and sell trees because they were too poor to eat, there was a monk who recommended cutting the trees. It was not the case that they started cutting trees because a certain person happened to be on the island and said so, but rather to do with the changes in the society itself.” (Miyazaki, Nausicaa.net)