Princess Mononoke

One of the more recognisable films of Studio Ghibli, to some, would be Princess Mononoke. Its amazing and stunning visuals make it one of the best masterpieces of all time, and deserves all the hype it gets.  Proudly being one of Film Four’s top 50 films to see before you die.

Princess Mononoke follows Prince Ashitaka setting off on a journey to cure his mysterious curse given to him when he kills a bore god. On his adventure he meets a young girl, San, who lives with wolf god Moro and her two pups, as they are trying to fight the humans from tearing down the forest. As the story continues, we see the relationship between San and Ashitaka grow, and the consequences of others change their lives forever.

Now the most special thing about Princess Mononoke is the way in which it is made.  Even after ten minutes of the film, i still find it hard to believe that it’s hand drawn. With more CG (computer generated) effects than any other Ghibli film to the current date it was made, it adds to the powerfulness of the narrative. It was mainly used to help the bring out the colour of all the hand drawn cells, and to simply speed up the process of the film, while at the same time making it blend in and look amazing.

San and Ashitaka

San and Ashitaka

Again, the soundtrack to this film is incredible. As other Ghibli films have their chirpy and catchy music, Princess Mononoke includes songs that can easily give you goosebumps, whether watching the film or listening to the music alone (the main theme song is sung by Yoshikazu Mera in Japanese). The difference between Mononoke and other films, when looking at music, would be the way that it doesn’t force music into your ears, it just appears to simply be in the background, adding to the mood of the film.

I think that after seeing Princess Mononoke, I have realised how much that I would love to see a Ghibli film at the cinemas, however, when Tales From Earthsea came out, it was shown in maybe 2 or 3 cinemas across England (and even those we in London and Edinburgh). I doubt, however, that any other Ghibli films in the future will ever come to local cinemas around Britain, which is very disappointing. Even though this may be the case it won’t stop my admiration for the films and the approach they have taken on every story that has been made so far.

If i was to conclude Princess Mononoke, I would note the more beautiful and aspiring parts of the film, and how it makes you feel once you have watched it. The end sequence of the film (i wont give it away), is my favourite one of all time, just for the feeling it gives me alone. The sense that even though all of the characters have lost something in one way or another, whether that being a loved one, their homes, or their forest, they have all gained something whether they know it or not.


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