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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An animated epic
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...
Published on June 25 2003

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Sad, slow paced story about the blindness of anger
The artwork was excellent.
Unfortunately, on the DVD that I purchased, the English voice tracks were recorded at a lower volume than the background music.
Some of the concepts (prostitution, blind hatred, mutilation, leprosy) presented in the movie are somewhat mature and probably not intended for young children. Besides that, the slow pace of the movie would...
Published on Dec 31 2002 by turbotiger2002


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An animated epic, June 25 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Princess Mononoke (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, english dub a little quiet, May 5 2012
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This is a fantastic movie. Lots of action, likeable characters, great music, the list goes on. The only problem I had with it was that the English voices were somewhat quiet at times, but if you've got good hearing, or you prefer subtitles, that won't be a problem.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Sad, slow paced story about the blindness of anger, Dec 31 2002
By 
turbotiger2002 (the United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Princess Mononoke (DVD)
The artwork was excellent.
Unfortunately, on the DVD that I purchased, the English voice tracks were recorded at a lower volume than the background music.
Some of the concepts (prostitution, blind hatred, mutilation, leprosy) presented in the movie are somewhat mature and probably not intended for young children. Besides that, the slow pace of the movie would bore young children.
I guess some potential viewers should be warned that the movie might be perceived as chronically suggesting that most humans intend to use technology to destroy nature. This suggestion may upset some viewers, because its argument is severely under developed. However, I doubt that the movie was intended as a political statement. When such a message is set against the story's background of blind hatred, malicious animals, and humans' need for survival, the under developed propaganda becomes ineffective and probably only has a polarizing effect.
PLOT SUMMARY:
I believe the real story is about coping with sadness. Initially, an outcast group of prostitutes and cripples created a town in the woods to mine iron, so that they may earn a living in an otherwise merciless world. A struggle between the boar clan and the outcast humans occurs. The boar clan, one of nature's animal tribes, becomes so overwhelmed with grief that they strike out in blind hatred towards all humans (even the ones who did not appear to do anything wrong). Their anger causes them to become both evil and unwise, which eventually gets them all killed. Meanwhile, some of the humans experience grief over the loss of their loved ones. Other wealthier humans see an opportunity to exploit the sad humans and quickly encourage the sad humans to hunt down the god of nature. This weakens the defenses of the sad humans fortress and potentially brings back the magical god's head too. In the end, the story vaguely hints that only hope and communication can overcome sadness, where as anger and hatred simply causes a person to become blind and possibly evil. Overall, the slow pace and audio problems made this movie disappointing.
...
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2.0 out of 5 stars Life is too short for this movie, July 16 2000
By 
Let's face it: animé, like sushi, is an acquired taste. I went to see this one because it drew solid reviews in the U.S., and because I happen to believe that all good films have certain storytelling elements in common, regardless of genre: strong characters, a well-crafted story, and pace, to name a few. PRINCESS MONONOKE nails the first one, falls short on the second, and fails miserably on the third.
Let's start with the good things: first of all, the animation is beautiful. Every hand-painted frame of this film is clearly the work of an artist and a perfectionist. Three of the main characters form an intriguing psychological triangle--the young, heroic Ashitaka, the mysterious San (who is also the title character), and the icy Lady Eboshi. Early on, the quality of the artwork and the appeal of the personalities involved fooled me into thinking that I was watching a great adventure film.
Then the story went on. And on. And on. I must have memorized every distinguishing mark on my watch from checking it so many times. Look, I don't mind an intricate storyline; I happen to be a big fan of gratifyingly complex plots. But a GOOD complex plot has craft, coherence, and shape; it also has a clear sense of where it's going, and it doesn't bore you to death as it's trying to get there. PRINCESS MONONOKE isn't content with 90 minutes' worth of material; no, anything less than epic scale would be unacceptable. Unfortunately, it's so heavy-handed and self-indulgent, so lacking in any sense of narrative structure, that it feels remarkably turgid and unenergetic despite the large helpings of action and violence.
Visually inventive? Yes. Wondrous to behold? Without a doubt. Da Vinci himself could have painted every landscape in this film and it still would have been a bloody mess. It has no pace. It has no subtlety. It has no restraint. It has none of the qualities necessary to take a well-animated epic and turn it into a truly great--no, that's aiming too high--an even remotely satisfactory experience. Note to the multitude of diehard animé fans who will no doubt be infuriated by my lack of respect for this "masterpiece": I may not be crazy about the genre, but I believe that it's just like any other genre--capable of great things, so long as a little economy is applied. I would rather sit through a fifteen-hour "Sailor Moon" marathon than watch PRINCESS MONONOKE again.
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2.0 out of 5 stars VASTLY over rated film., May 16 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Princess Mononoke (DVD)
I'm a big fan of most of Miyazaki's films (especially "My Neighbor Totoro"), but this film is a disaster. The art is beautiful, and I've seen both the Japanese version (with english subtitles) and the American version. I originally thought that the director was taking for granted that I might understand some of the Japanese legends, but just about all of my Japanese friends said they didn't understand it at all, either. They likened it to a Japanese "Roger Rabbit" --another film that is really poorly constructed and has lousy animation. Japanese animation often looks beautiful and is well choreographed--but they still can't tell consistantly coherant stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie, Feb. 2 2012
This is a must see for an movie enthusiast especially if you like animated films. The artwork is captivating and moving. Hayao Miyazaki is a true artist with fantastic stories!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must See!, Feb. 26 2011
I've watched anime shows for a little while now, but not very many anime movies. So I went and looked up a list of the best ones and randomly picked Princess Mononoke. I would not be disappointed. This movie, like all Miyakaki movies, is absolutely stellar. There are no cookie cutter bad guys, everyone make choices for their own reasons. The characters are well developed and relatable. The animation is gorgeous, and the music by Joe Hisaishi is haunting and beautiful. Do yourself a favor and buy this film, or at least watch it somewhere!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful treat - a visually stunning adventure, March 31 2003
By 
Craig Matteson (Saline, MI) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Princess Mononoke (DVD)
This evening I sat with my son and watched this wonderful movie once again. I think it is a stunning story, is a visual wonder, and has very attractive music. The movie is so rich that you can pick up new details and poetic points with each new viewing.
While the English voice over actors are quite good, I do recommend a viewing or two with the Japanese voices and English subtitles. I don't speak Japanese, but the characterization of THOSE voices adds a lot to the story and the English subtitles are a bit different than the voice over.
The creatures come, I suspect, from Japanese myth and are very different than anything I have experienced in Western myth. It is quite wonderful. There are powerful and disturbing images that might not be suitable for very young children, but there is no gore for gore's sake. But the way the creatures become demons is very powerful and intense.
I am glad to own this disk and suspect you would enjoy it as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A majestic, passionate, eloquent homage to the Earth., Jan. 27 2003
By 
Tom Knapp "Rambles.NET editor" (Lancaster, PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The artwork of this film is astonishing. Set primarily in the forests of ancient Japan, the scenery is lush with life, vivid with depth and detail. The scenery is in some cases so gorgeous it will take your breath away.
But the story, too, stands out from the crowd. Written by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki and adapted into English by writer Neil Gaiman, Princess Mononoke is the story Ferngully wanted to be. It tells of a great clash between humans and nature, with the animal gods and forest spirits rallying to stave off encroaching devasation. The archetypal figures, such as the Night Walker, are magnificent, but there are also the smaller gods and fey beings for a lighter touch.
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2.0 out of 5 stars I wish I hadn't bought this, March 26 2001
This review is from: Princess Mononoke (DVD)
I was intrigued by the effusive praise that so many ... heaped upon this movie, and I thought to myself "Wow, this sounds incredible - I'd better check this out."
However, this film ...
It's way, way too overlong. It comes in at about 2 hrs 20 mins, yet so much of the movie is painfully repetitious that this could easily have been trimmed to 80 mins. The American voice-overs are AWFUL. Minnie Driver is passable, but every other actor makes it sound like a school play. They're hammier than a side of pig. I can't believe anime has evolved so little since "Akira".
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