Princess Mononoke is an animated film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, produced by Studio Ghibli, and released on 1997-07-12. It was co-produced by Tokuma Shoten, the Nippon Television Network, and Dentsu, and distributed by Toho.
In the film, a giant boar god has somehow turned into a demon and attacks a village. A young man named Ashitaka defeats the demon in order to save his village, but takes on the demon's curse in the process. An iron bullet is found in the corpse of the demon, and Ashitaka travels to find the source of the bullet. He finds a giant iron mill run by Lady Eboshi who is clear-cutting the nearby forest to make more iron. The destruction of the forest has angered many spirits including the wolves who attack Lady Eboshi, but her powerful weapons give her the upper hand. Ashitaka tries to convince Lady Eboshi to be at peace with the spirits of the forest, but she is intent on becoming strong enough to be independent from the emperor, even if it means eradicating every last spirit.
I believe this was the second Studio Ghibli film I saw. Since I enjoyed Spirited Away so much, and heard good things about this title, I sought it out and watched it. I enjoyed it very much.
I don't own this movie, but I have seen the Japanese version with subtitles and the American dubbed version.
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The story is really interesting and creative.
- The idea that animals have extremely large and powerful versions of themselves as gods is really cool.
- I like how few of the characters are stereotypical. Instead, even the villains have both good an bad aspects. It makes them far more believable and lets you sympathize with their plights.
- The animation of the tentacles on the demon-boar are fantastic.
- It's really cool to see Ashitaka fight with his demon arm.
- The character design on the kodama is wonderful.
- Despite having no dialogue, Yakul is a great character.
- The boar-skin wearing scouts are extremely creepy.
- The Nightwalker's headless form is terrifying.
- A lot of the animation is pretty choppy, as is typical of Japanese animation.
- While all the women in the movie have normal facial proportions (at least for anime), but most of the men often have highly-exaggerated features.
- San's character design, although visually appealing, makes little sense. How could she keep makeup and white clothes while living as a feral animal?