Princess Mononoke – Budget of $23.5 million – 2 hours and 14 minutes
Prince Ashitaka is able to save his village from a boar possessed by a demon god but not without sustaining an injury to his arm. The injury leaves a large mark that grows and causes pain. Before the boar died, it cursed Prince Ashitaka to have a growing vengeance and hatred that will consume him until he dies. With the fear of what he will become, Prince Ashitaka is asked to leave his village. The Oracle gives him a lump of metal found inside the boar’s veins. With this clue, Prince Ashitaka hopes to find someone with knowledge of the metal so he can figure out a way to save his life. While on his journey, he discovers his arm is getting stronger and more accurate. He can kill someone with a single strike but it only increases strength when he is angry. While the increase in strength is great, the injury grows each time he uses his arm. Later he finds Lady Eboshi. Eboshi commands a village of hard-working men and women who were excommunicated from their villages. Lady Eboshi wants to remove all the animals and take over the forest. She hopes she can expand her territory to make more metal goods and dominate the world. Her main problem, Princess Mononoke. Princess Mononoke was raised by wolves and has a deep hatred of humans. She wants to put an end to Lady Eboshi’s expansion so her pack will have a place to live. Prince Ashitaka is in a huge dilemma. He knows that Lady Eboshi has the answer to saving his life but he has fallen for Princess Mononoke. He will have to choose between his life and love.
In a day of computer graphics and special effects, seeing a hand-drawn animation is refreshing. The in-depth storyline tells the constant struggle between progress and nature. It’s only natural for Lady Eboshi to expand but the animals need a place too. While this is an animation, it’s complex plot, strong battles, great jokes, and masterful drawings make it a true anime. Now, there is an English dubbed version of this movie, it’s best to watch it in Japanese with subtitles. This is how the animators intended it to be. Often the words and lips do not sync up, causing a distraction. If you are considering delving into the world of anime, this is a good film to get your feet wet. You will laugh and be lost in all its beauty and wonderment.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars
Quiet your rage. I beg you – Prince Ashitaka
I hate humans – Princess Mononoke