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Princess Mononoke (Bilingual)

Y˘ji Matsuda , Yuriko Ishida , Hayao Miyazaki    Unrated   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (649 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Princess Mononoke (Bilingual) + Spirited Away (Bilingual) + My Neighbor Totoro (2-Disc Special Edition)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 62.75


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Product Description

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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


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Most helpful customer reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An animated epic June 25 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
While Disney is regurgitating the same old formula year afer year and training us for the expected, what are the filmmakers doing over in Japan? They're simply turning out the most creative tales, jawdropping visuals and (especially in Miyazaki's films) the imaginitive UNexpected that animation has ever seen. After growing up spoon-fed with Disney, what I've seen of Miyazaki has effectively hit me over the head with a steel beam.
"Princess Mononoke" is absolutely an animated epic. I really think that "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" (with their epic journeys, warring factions and unknown lands) had a strong influence on this film, and they give you a good idea of the general plot and feel. Then, throw in samurais and a big helping of Japanese myth (which really isn't any more objectionable to western religion than our own Mother Earth myth, if this is a concern for you). Beyond any feel or ingredients list, though, is an awesomely complex and creative storyline, the like of which I've never seen before in an animated film. I belive that this film is so good that it could easily stand being done in live action and could be huge on the scale of a LoTR movie (no joke). Princess Mononoke just "happens" to be done in animation.
Princess Mononoke really blew me away. I've never been a fan of Japanese animation, but I'm becoming a fan of Miyazaki. The difference is in the story and the creativity. I highly recommend Princess Mononoke to everyone, but especially to the average moviegoer who needs convincing to try it out. The only folks I'd like to warn are those who have a tendency to think or say "this is weird" 20 minutes into a film and give up on it. You have to have a little bit more of an open mind than Disney would like us to have. You'll be rewarded if you closely follow the film and have that open mind.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Theme refreshing, content deep May 24 2003
Format:DVD
I think many people have misread the theme of this movie- obviously there is the evil of man in the iron industry, but there is also the evil of nature, as evidenced by the gods of the forest who let their hate for mankind consume them. This is why I love this movie- it is not the traditional American hippie-nature-is-always-good, nor is it trample across the forest. BOTH mankind and nature have lost their way, and the main character, a sort of dark, brooding, savior of sorts comes to tell them that both of them are wrong and if they continue on their path both of them will be destroyed. That's at least what I got out of the movie. I think the visuals are stunning and serve to emphasize the story and theme, and the violence has a purpose for being in the movie, and could not be called gratuitous by anyone's measure. I love this movie because it is quite different from most of the anime that seems to make its way to American shores. I don't know if they're keeping all the best stuff in Japan, but some of the stuff I see is no better than our own American animation in terms of content and execution. Then of course, are the rare gems such as this. Miyazaki is a genius, the equivalent of George Lucas (before the prequels), Steven Spielberg, and Walt Disney (the man, not the company), all rolled into one, with a vision and craft that transcends them all. Magnificent.
Billy Bob Thorton had no reason to be cast for this movie- bad decision, but I won't let it mar my love of the underlying movie.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid, Crisp, Brilliant June 15 2003
Format:DVD
First, some concessions. I do not speak Japanese, so I can say nothing about the Japanese language version or the quality of the translation. Also, I am not an rabid anime fan, and in fact this was the first japanese-animated feature film I ever saw (I have seen more since). Finally, this movie takes maturity to watch and appreciate - there is some graphic animated violence and mature themes throughout. Now, on to the review.
This animated film by Hayao Miyazaki is absolutely amazing. It embodies all the things you should look for in animation, and it stands as one of the greatest films - and, along with Ran (directed by Kurosawa), my favorite film from Japan. First, let me say that the story was terrific, using developed characters and tackling real-world problems of environmentalism and technology tastefully and without an abundance of feel-good Sierra-club nonsense a la Captain Planet and Ferngully. It explores humanity's relationship with nature, the struggle for human survival, and the difficulties of human advancement. While there is a large degree of sentimentalism (Randians beware) the story should appeal to a wide range of audiences.
The most amazing thing about the movie is the art and art direction, all masterfully done. The entire movie is a feast for the eyes, both characters and backgrounds are drawn with fascinating detail and rich, crisp color. The artistic and directorial talent deserves the utmost respect. You'll have to see the movie to believe how good it is.
The sound is well done, but for those of you wanting to utilize your overly expensive surround sound systems, you'll find yourself missing out (sorry). The sounds are crisp, though, and complement the visual experience beautifully.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whose side is he on anyway? Dec 2 2002
By ewomack
Format:DVD
This question is at the heart of Princess Mononoke. Most of the other characters at one time or another think he is against them. At first viewing it's hard to tell what the main character is up to. He saves the Princess, then he saves Lady Eboshi. Then he's going to help the "bad guys"? What?!?! Who is evil and who is good? It's not instantly obvious, which makes Princess Mononoke stand up to repeated viewings - many repeated viewings. The story is complex, but not too complex. It's main themes are humanity versus nature (i.e., itself) and hate. Hate destroys and eats away flesh. The tentacle-like demons fashioned from hate provide some of the most incredible animation, and some of the most poignant scenes. Another theme is the idea that sometimes the best side to be on is neither side.
The animation is about as good as it comes. Miyazaki is one of the best, and this is one of his best pictures. If the story happens to bore you (it shouldn't), just look at the incredible animation that never lets up. The animated grass growing towards the end is particularly incredible.
Animation does not get much better than this. Visually and thematically, there are not many as good as Princess Mononoke out there. Given its themes, it's somewhat surprising that Disney brought this masterpiece to the States. Sure, some of the English dubbed voices are a little off, but this doesn't detract from the film much. It's interesting to watch the film in its original Japanese with English subtitles. The characters come across a little differently this way, and the translations are different in the subtitles. For instance, the "Forest Spirit" becomes the "Deer God" in the subtitled version. The voices also are incredibly different, and those who don't appreciate Billy Bob Thorton's drawl will enjoy the Japanese version.
There aren't many movies worth owning and watching over and over again, but Princess Mononoke is definitely one of them.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it.
Published 2 days ago by Evan Funk
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Parfait... trop contente
Published 2 days ago by rebecca b. cote
5.0 out of 5 stars The music and the whole film is just epic.
Just as I remembered it, a most own movie.
Published 11 days ago by Osman
5.0 out of 5 stars ONLY 8 DOLLARS?!
Personal, i can not understand why the best fantasy film of all Miyazaki is only going for 8.00 CDN. None the less im very happy to have this DVD on hand. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Joshua
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
J'adore ce film je l'ai vu il y a plus de 10 ans et j'aime encore
Published 1 month ago by ludnie jean-charles
5.0 out of 5 stars good product. Thanks
Prompt delivery, good product. Thanks :)
Published 1 month ago by Adrian Hartery
3.0 out of 5 stars but on the other I find the story a bit disjointed and missing...
I am split on this one; on one hand the animation is well done and the characters interesting, but on the other I find the story a bit disjointed and missing elements to make it... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Steven W. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Best movie Papas ever seen
Published 2 months ago by Alex Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Miyazaki at his best
Love it. This to me is classic Miyazaki. This movie completely captured my attention, and made me love this artists works. A masterpiece!
Published 7 months ago by Blackrabbit
5.0 out of 5 stars Anime treat
The movie was in excellent condition when it arrived.
I'm looking forward to watching it! Miyazaki is amazing
as usual!
Published 10 months ago by Deborah Quiring
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