Princess Mononoke
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Product Description

An a-list of stars lend their voice talents to this breathtaking animated adventure that follows the fearless princess mononoke as she leads a band of animal gods into battle against humankind. Studio: Buena Vista Home Video Release Date: 01/08/2002 Starring: Animated Run time: 150 minutes Rating: Pg13

This epic, animated 1997 fantasy has already made history as the top-grossing domestic feature ever released in Japan, where its combination of mythic themes, mystical forces, and ravishing visuals tapped deeply into cultural identity and contemporary, ecological anxieties. For international animation and anime fans, Princess Mononoke represents an auspicious next step for its revered creator, Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service), an acknowledged anime pioneer, whose painterly style, vivid character design, and stylized approach to storytelling take ambitious, evolutionary steps here.

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

Customer Reviews:

  • Good animation
    Good movie, with a fascinating story line, it has kept my nephew enthralled for many years, and remains one of his favorite movies....more info
  • Awesome!
    If you have never seen a film by this man, this is an excellent place to start!...more info
  • another amazing anime
    This seems to be Miyazake's most personal work, clearly a serious design. It is set in an imaginary time which blends the time of the ancient gods (Shinto style, gods of place and nature) with the settlement of humans and the coming of metalworking and war. The world is not in balance, and a distant conflict between industry and nature has wounded one of the gods of the forest, which is then killed by a sentry boy as it rampages into farmland he guards. The evil controlling it transfers to him, beginning a slow takeover, and he must journey to the origin of the conflict to find a way to cure himself and incidentally, as he will learn, to try to restore balance. But this is not a simplistic tale, he finds there are other characters in play, and there is good and evil in everyone, and no easy balance. The Princess (Hime) of the story is a mysterious human who has been raised by wolves (which are themselves powerful forest gods, a little reminiscent of the Amerindian Coyote myth), who becomes both his ally and his enemy. The story is not easy to understand. It has many Japanese mythic elements but even then, it is a work of Miyazake's unique imagination, and is not intended to be simple or to have a clean resolution.

    The animation is spectacular, and unusual, with new elements even for Miyazake and marks a new departure for style which you can see continued in his next film, Sen to Chihiro - more nature, more wild, more jamming on elements from Japanese myth and folklore. And, continuing the trend to be more personal, concerned with ethics and character, and less sci-fi. There are at least half a dozen well developed characters threaded through the story, and their animation is wonderful in displaying subtle character.

    The original Japanese soundtrack has some amazing singing and draws upon some of the best talent available for voices - in Japan, Miyazake is universally known and this was a masterpiece carefully crafted. Japanese television documented a lot of the production. The English translation drew on some good talent but they seem not to have "gotten it" quite so intensely as the Japanese crew.

    If you haven't seen Miyazake, give it a try (but maybe look at Sen to Chihiro first, or even Laputa or Kiki's Delivery Service, for easier and lighter introduction to his work). Some say he is the Japanese Disney, but I don't like that. His work has a depth and sophistication that goes beyond Disney cute. There is no other animation like it. This is truly an adult work: children might like some of the visuals, but I doubt that many kids below teen age will have any idea what it is all about, and even adults will get more out of this each time you see it again. ...more info
  • Love This Movie!!!!
    I really love this movie! Its one of my all time favorites!! absolutely beautiful images!...more info
  • Awsome movie...Doesn't quite exceed Spirited Away
    I liked this movie, though i did like Spirited Away better.
    There may be be a couple of violent parts that little ones might need to close there eyes on, but other than that it's fine.
    It had a pretty complex story though. But with some understanding I got it in the end.
    Tons of action, fantasy, romance...Everything you need in a good movie. BEAUTIFUL ANIMATION!!!!! It has all the charm a good Studio Ghibli film should have, it was deserving of the 5 stars....more info
  • "Breathtaking"
    This is an incredible story about a prince who becomes an outcast of his dying village, through a mark left on his arm by a rogue god. If you haven't seen this film, I highly recommend anyone to see this film. You will be left at the edge of your seat from beginning to end. ...more info
  • Love it!
    This is a wonderful movie! It is fit for all ages, I even got my cave man husband to like it! I think that the American voice overs were chosen well, and it just has an all around good story going for it. ...more info
  • Love it!
    This is a wonderful movie! It is fit for all ages, I even got my cave man husband to like it! I think that the American voice overs were chosen well, and it just has an all around good story going for it. ...more info
  • Without a doubt, one of the greatest movies ever made
    While reading many of the 1 star reviews, I noticed that everbody was complaining about the same thing. The violence and the story being very complicated.

    As for those who complained about the latter, that is a terrible excuse. You do not deserve to see any movies more complicated than Pooh's Grand Adventure.

    As for people who complianed about the former, I have this to say. One person said, "The violence was unexceptable." That kind of comment is unacceptable. "Unacceptable" is a word that my Principal uses to descripe behavior. "That behavior is unacceptable," etc. You don't descripe a movie like that. You say "The violence was unacceptable for my children." That I can accept. The film is very violent and shouldn't be viewed by young children. If you think you're children are mature enough to stand the violence, let them see it, if not then please review the movie based on more important matters. Whether or not the movie was too violent for you does not affect the quality of the movie. People need to grow up and stop acting like 5 year olds. Would you say that that Psycho was a bad movie just because it scared you. If it was too violent for you, then keep your fingers off the bloody keyboard unless you have something else to say about the movie.

    Though a whole bunch of immature people have given this 1 star, its greatness cannot be diminished. ...more info
  • The film is great adult entertainment
    As a person who usually does not watch animated movies, I caught the end of this film on a tv channel, was entranced, and then bought the video. The animation itself is wonderful. There is real artistic quality to the backgrounds, and the color is great. The sound track is also excellent. It is really engaging to hear the sounds of chopsticks clicking in bowls as the contents are slurped

    The story line is complicated enough for adults to be interested in seeing what comes next. There is also a philosophic context which attracts attention. All in all this is a really worthwhile film that adults can watch with interest and enjoyment, and then even come back for more viewings....more info
  • Thrilling
    This is one of the best anime films I've seen in years, and I've seen a lot. Beautifully dubbed (although Billy Bob did throw me a little at first) and a near perfect script. I like my books and movies a little more realistic, with believable, flawed characters with some ambiguity in their actions, otherwise, whether it's anime or not, it feels cartoonish. This had everything I was looking for. If you haven't seen this yet, why not??? It's better than a lot of real Hollywood dramas (most in fact0 that come out every year. ...more info
  • DVD, Princess Mononoke
    I bought this video for my son who has watched it at least twice since we received it. The story is very good and it is fun to listen to big name stars (Billy Bob Thornton) doing the voice for Japanese characters. The DVD arrived on time and in excellent condition just as the seller promised....more info
  • Princess Mononoke
    I have seen Princess Mononoke on T.V., and it rocks! It's just awesome like all the other movies that japanese guy makes....more info
  • Movie-Princess Mononoke
    I bought the video for my 12 y.o. son to give to his best friend as a Christmas gift. Both boys are anime fiends. I think he'll love the movie....more info
  • A Masterpeice
    Miyazaki is one of the great animators of all time, and this film, and 'Sprited Away' are his masterpeices. It was so good I had to see it twice while it was in the theater.

    Miyazaki doesn't make movies with simplistic 'Good vs. Evil' scenarios, but creates worlds filled with nuance and complexity. The visuals are stunning, the characters are interesting, and the story rich and multi-layered. A real joy to watch....more info
  • Perhaps Miyazaki's best film
    In ancient Japan, a cursed prince travels to a land where men and the gods of nature struggle to define their positions in a newly emerging world order. Exquisite animation is to be expected in a film by Hayao Miyazaki, and he does not disappoint here. But this film also delivers his most profound moral statement in a story that does not feature simple heroes and villains. The human drive to control the environment and improve the quality of life, in the form of Lady Eboshi's ironworks, upsets the balance of nature, but there is more to her than that. The lepers who make her rifles are grateful for the good treatment they receive from her, and the workers in her factory are prostitutes that she has rescued from the brothels. Her desire to slay the gods of the forest with her rifles and iron bullets is a potent metaphor for man's drive to conquer nature with technology. The creatures of the forest are not simplistic good guys, either. They can be violent and are in danger of being transformed into demons by their rage. This complex film is a joy to watch and has the power of myth....more info
  • WOW What a movie
    This movie is very unique, my daughter loves it and has watched it several times now.....a dozen....thank you for a quick send to the nice person who mailed to to us and a BOX for it to go in so it didn't get crushed or broken....very nice.......more info
  • Not for little eyes...
    This is another beautiful animated adventure by Hayao Miyazaki. Cons: I gave it four stars because it if definitely not for little eyes-heed the PG13 rating. Princess Mononoke has a lot of bad language, violence, gore, and many adult themes-like the fact that the fighting girls come from a brothel. When my 10 year old asked what that was, I realized this movie is for grown-ups. It was not Hayao's usual adventure that brings a child far away into his or her imagination, and brings a grown person like me back to my childhood. This film is dark and tortures the soul with a theme of humans once again killing what is innocent and beautiful for selfish reasons. Now for the Pros: Hayao Miyazaki is a genius once again with his characters, animation, and theme. Princess Mononoke is going to pull you in and make you fight for whichever side you choose, and not let you go until the very end. Excellent for grown-ups who want to 'escape' the real world for a while, join forces with Hayao's good Asitaka & Mononoke or the evil Lady Eboshi characters, and fight for what they believe in. A definite must for Anime lovers. ...more info
  • Actually. I Give it 5+ stars. but this is just a rebuttal.
    Okay, I understand some sentiments against the American voice-cast, well, I don't really understand it, because it is still an amazing film, whatever version you go with. But I can understand where you are coming from in being disappointed with not having the Japanese version to compare with.
    That being said, I must say, that should be the only complaint against this movie. It is visually stunning, the storyline is amazing, and the music is enthralling. Those who have said that this is anti-human, green peace propaganda, you couldn't be farther from the truth. True, this show is pro-environment seeing as how the main character was raised by nature. However, it is not against compassion towards humans, the supposed "villain" of the movie, while she does kill the Forest Spirit, is beloved by all who live in her settlement of Irontown, she is a believable character who really is trying to help people, she takes in outcast lepers and helps them to feel needed by giving them work to do, she treats them humanely. She does learn a valuable lesson by the end of the story and decides to rebuild her city, to continue mining the iron, but this time it will be more ecologically sound. The main character is blindly trying to destroy this irontown, but at the end, after the forest is destroyed, she returns to the forest to help it regrow, while her lover and the hero of the story returns to Irontown to help them rebuild. They continue in their relationship even though they are helping the two sides that just the day before had been killing each other. Can you not see the symbolism there!? This movie is about learning to coexist! Which you can't help but see the need for in this world. It's about seeing past your preconceptions of people and situations. The lepers are outcasts that are warmly received in Irontown, and the forest spirits are eventually accepted by the town folk as well, after having gone through a series of eye openers.
    The characters are lively and you do come to care about them, just because people don't change their opinions completely around at the end of the movie, like some kind of dysfunctional bi-polar group of people doesn't mean that they do not learn and grow and become more mature because of their experiences. They all experience loss, and learn to overcome their hatreds.
    This movie is visually stunning, with beautifully painted backdrops and scenery, granted, the characters do tend to look somewhat cartoonish, but who cares? It is a cartoon! Just so you know! Besides, they aren't looney-tunes kind of cartoonish, they are still excellently drawn and don't look out of place next to their amazing oil-painted world. The music is captivating and haunting, reflecting the torn and somewhat melancholy world where the story takes place.
    The voice acting is really good, even if it is Claire Dane, or Billy Bob Thornton (who I think did an amazing job, I loved the monk, he was one of my favorite characters in the whole show). Just set aside your "artistic purism" views and just enjoy what this movie is, if you can't do that, don't worry about this movie then, go and find the japanese version and sit their reading the whole movie. This movie is amazing! By far one of my favorite movies of all time, and definately worthy of your time to see, and your money to buy. 5 Stars, if possible, I would give more....more info
  • Quality and unique
    Studio ghibli and Miyazaki are a godsend to the Animated motion picture genre. As of late I have grown tired with Disney, Pixar, etc. pumping out cookie cutter kids films consisting of overly silly talking animals, two or three 'breakout' characters and the main character stritcly adhering to their own beaten to death hero archetype. Princess Mononoke, sprited away, and all of Miyazaki's films are a breath of fresh air: they are like if Disney was still making good films.

    Some scary scenes though, would not recommend for very young children who are easily spooked...more info
  • "Princess Mononoke" - Excellent!!
    "Princess Mononoke" is a fantastic film for pre-teens through adults. Highly recommend this movie if you liked "Spirited Away"....more info
  • Wonderful Miyazake Film
    This is another fabulous film from the gifted Mr. Miyazake. It makes you laugh, cry and ends by filling you with hope -- as do all of his films. This was one a huge hit in Japan when it came out and was only eclipsed by another of his films, Spirited Away (which is also wonderful, by the way). 5 stars all the way and 4 paws up!...more info
  • One of the Best Available
    All of Miyazaki's films are good. As a rule the worst are better than the best you get from other producers. This is one of the better films from the master and I recommend it.
    ...more info
  • great movie but not good for yonger kids
    I my self am a huge anime/manga fan and a big fan of hayao miyazaki.
    I loved the movie alot but the blood and gore is very anoing arms and
    heads flying everywere. Iv loved anime like bleach but bouth of them not for younger kids. good for teens...more info
  • BLOODY FANTASTIC!!!
    I've been a fan of manga/anime ever since i can remember and as manga/anime goes this is one of the best. Captivating scenes, beautifull music. The story is brill also, as well as the characters.

    You get a few giggles when watching this but then you also feel sadness. All mangas/anime should be like this the story, the music, the characters.

    ABSOLUTLY FANTASTIC!!!...more info
  • Epic
    This is an amazing motion picture. From the by-hand anime, which seems to be a fading art, to the undeniable and powerful messages it cultivates through seemingly basic storytelling, this epic journey encompasses so much thought and compassion it is overwhelmingly ideal in so many ways. A must have for anyone who appreciates the art of film. *bow*...more info
  • mononoke
    of all th einterviews i read -everyone said this was an out standing movie-i bought it and i didn't think it earned 4 or 5 stars!i think it takes sometime to get into this movie,i just have to say i was dissappointed in the movie and for the price i don't think it was worth it....more info
  • This is better Japon Movie!
    I had just order movie one month age, and I watch this movie. It is so good movie. ...more info
  • Moro
    What can I say, fantastic, beautiful. My friends you must buy it do not i repeat do not pass up this chance. I own all of his movies but this one come on no collection is complete without princess mononoke.
    Moro Quote:Nago was afraid to die, he fled and the darkness took him, but I remain and contomplate my daeth."
    Quote San:Egh I smell like a human."
    Quote Moro:You would risk every thing on one last battle, thats just what the humans want."...more info
  • Long live the Queen
    "Princess" is among the absolute best anime to come along, in the last 15 years, and arguable, one of writer/director Hayao Miyazaki's best, as well. The visuals and writing are imaginative, original, realistic. Female characters are predominately featured here as in several other of Miyazaki's films, which I highly recommend (Howls Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Nausica? of the Valley of the Wind). I feel that his work is art that takes me to that sublime nether world where one can truly see with "eyes unclouded by hate, mediocrity, or status quo". I screened this movie during lunch breaks, at my job, for co-workers. It was well received by most who couldn't recall seeing anything like it before. ...more info