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Set in medieval Japan, Miyazaki's original story envisions a struggle between nature and man. The march of technology, embodied in the dark iron forges of the ambitious Tatara clan, threatens the natural forces explicit in the benevolent Great God of the Forest and the wide-eyed, spectral spirits he protects. When Ashitaka, a young warrior from a remote, and endangered, village clan, kills a ravenous, boar-like monster, he discovers the beast is in fact an infectious "demon god," transformed by human anger. Ashitaka's quest to solve the beast's fatal curse brings him into the midst of human political intrigues as well as the more crucial battle between man and nature.
Miyazaki's convoluted fable is clearly not the stuff of kiddie matinees, nor is the often graphic violence depicted during the battles that ensue. If some younger viewers (or less attentive older ones) will wish for a diagram to sort out the players, Miyazaki's atmospheric world and its lush visual design are reasons enough to watch. For the English-language version, Miramax assembled an impressive vocal cast including Gillian Anderson, Billy Crudup (as Ashitaka), Claire Danes (as San), Minnie Driver (as Lady Eboshi), Billy Bob Thornton, and Jada Pinkett Smith. They bring added nuance to a very different kind of magic kingdom. Recommended for ages 12 and older. --Sam Sutherland
Top Customer Reviews
The video and audio quality is the sort that you would use to show off your new home theater system. In fact, I found the Japanese soundtrack to be richer and better dynamically balanced than the English track (!). Disney/Miramax really took advantage of the format by including BOTH the Japanese and English opening titles and credits -- they are automatically selected depending on your choice of language via an angle switch. Transparent and ingenious. There are two sets of subtitles -- one for the English track, and the other is the literal translation of the Japanese (since some liberties were taken in creating the English script).
Disney was originally going to release "Mononoke Hime" without the original language track, which created an outrage among anime fans (who, myself included, signed a massive internet petition which eventually turned the tide). I applaud this decision, as well as the splendid attention to detail. It has made this incredible movie an even better value.
I sure hope the other Miyazaki Anime will be released on DVD soon! (Kiki's Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa, etc...)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A truly unique animation that blends Japanese folklore with Shinto beliefs to produce a hauntingly beautiful and exciting story.Published 7 days ago by Richard W. Elliott
Always loved this movie ! This movie came n great condition and player wel..Published 12 days ago by Bridget Rougeau
A beautiful heartfelt movie with a very powerful message of mankind's intrusion into nature.Published 18 days ago by bigtom85
This movie is really well done, with a good story board. And as usual, just because it is animated, doesn't necessarily mean children should watch it. Read morePublished 19 days ago by AI33
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