PRINCESS MONONOKE (MONONOKE-HIME) (PG)
D: Hayao Miyazaki
Toho/Studio Ghibli (Toshio Suzuki)
W: Hayao Miyazaki
Mus: Joe Hisashi
Yôji Matsuda / Billy Crudup (Ashitaka), Yuriko Ishida / Tara Strong (San), Yuko Tanaka / Minnie Driver (Lady Eboshi), Kaoro Kobayashi / Billy Bob Thornton (Jiko-Bō)
Princess Mononoke is among Studio Ghibli's most popular selection of anime features, directed by Hayao Miyazaki in his usual style.
The word Mononoke is not a name, but rather a reference to a spirit or monster in Japanese folklore, where the story takes its inspiration.
Set in 16th century Japan, the story follows a young prince, who becomes mortally wounded protecting a village from a demonic creature and on his journey to find medicine that can heal him he becomes involved in a war between the gods of the forest and the humans who consume its resources.
Originally released in Japan in 1997, it took a couple of years to be internationally distributed, by which time it had become one of the highest grossing films in Japanese cinema.
It's understandable but this kind of animation isn't for everyone, and probably wouldn't be fully embraced by the Disney crowd, but for those wishing to immerse themselves in Japanese anime films, this is a great starting point.