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Princess Mononoke / Princesse Mononoké (Bilingual)

665 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Yôji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yûko Tanaka, Billy Crudup, Billy Bob Thornton
  • Directors: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Writers: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Producers: Bob Weinstein, Diana Tauder, Harvey Weinstein, Scott Martin, Seiichirô Ujiie
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Alliance Films
  • Release Date: July 1 2001
  • Run Time: 134 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (665 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000065K6N
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,709 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

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, ec

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 --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25 2003
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lars Doucet on 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Zachary Gochenour on 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Thomas Anderson TOP 50 REVIEWER on Nov. 21 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Of all of Studio Ghibli's many award winning films produced by it's co-founder Hayao Miyazaki; none has ever achieved the critical acclaim that Princess Mononoke did and there is no doubt that it is and will forever remain his most monumental achievement. Not to mention that It is also considered without a doubt to be one of the ten best animated movies ever made! So it is nice to see this masterpiece released on a North American Blu-ray where it rightfully belongs!

So what makes this film so incredibly good? First and foremost is the stunning level of detail. Although made back in 1997; it's level of detail and animated movement is so great that only a handful of cell based animated films has ever approached it and ironically half of them like Spirited Away and Ponyo are also Studio Ghibli films! Then throw in a complex storyline two and a quarter hours long (and never boring) that's constantly weaving new elements (always stunning in their visual beauty) into the mix and that never adheres to simplistic western ideas of good and bad and you have an animated movie that bears as much resemblance to a Frozen or a Sleeping Beauty as a B movie does to The Ten Commandments or Lawrence of Arabia.

For example in a typical animated movie the so-called heroine (San who has been raised by the Wolf God Moro) would be all noble and kind. But in this real world of myth and legend, she's quite willing to kill the odd innocent wagon driver if that's what it takes to preserve her beloved forest! And as for Lady Eboshi who rules Iron Town and in a typical western storyline would be a greedy tyrant. In Mononoke while yes, she may be destroying the forest and is also intent on killing the Great Forest spirit.
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