Most helpful critical review
Hmm...Mixed feelings about this one
on January 21, 2002
When my sister bought this fabulous Dvd in the US, I was instilled with wonder that many of you will have felt when encountering a Miyazaki film for the first time. However, when I recently watched some of Miyazaki's other works in a Miyazaki film festival, I've changed my opinion.
Don't get me wrong, I still love this movie, and I was impressed by the lack of any identifiable "Bad Guy". The English dub was among the best I've seen (Bravo Neil Gaiman! All hail the greatest western comic author!), but the likes of Claire Danes irritated me to no end. I liked the use of English voice actors (well, only one I suppose), but it seems fundamentally wrong for one of the leading characters to have a whiny voice with an American twang to it (cough cough, Sai, cough cough).
As epic as some of his earlier films, yet with a depressingly cheesy ending. The musical score is catchy and fits the mood of the movie well, while the animation rolls on to capture your imagination. This being one of the first Miyazaki films to extensively use CG graphics, I feel they have mastered the art of electronically colouring scenes. But I felt the CG was used in such a way as to make the separation between hand drawn scenes and CG too obvious. I hope his next film, "Spirited Away", they will make better use of CG morphing technology.
Unless trying to complete your Miyazaki collection, buy Nausicaa, Laputa, and Totoro first, otherwise leave this one for the odds and ends of your budget.