I’m a day late again for my Miyazaki Monday blog, since I have no internet at my new apartment, and my last few days have been busy with unpacking, organizing, and trying to keep up with my NaNoWriMo word count. But I did watch Princess Mononoke yesterday, so here’s this week’s review:
Mononoke is not my favorite of Ghibli’s films — I think it’s a little shallow, and it’s a little slow, and it just doesn’t suit my taste. That said, it is still quite deserving of its place as one of Ghibli’s hallmark films. It is an imaginative, adventurous story full of interesting and bizarre animation, and fun to watch.
It’s Miyazaki, which is always good. Joe Hisaishi wrote the lovely, epic-style score. I couldn’t find an English dub version, so I’m not sure how the voice acting might compare to other animated films. (I doubt if this ever had a Disney release … since people’s heads and arms fly off pretty often and whatnot.) Overall, it’s very well-made and enjoyable.
I’m just not head-over-heels with this one like I am with many Ghibli films. I’m not sure what the difference is, but for some reason Mononoke just doesn’t spark my imagination like the others, and I don’t feel as strong of a connection to the film as I do to many others. It’s your typical “save the forest from evil humans” kind of thing, which I have no problem with. There are interesting forest gods in the shape of animals that talk. As if to make up for Porco Rosso‘s chauvinism, Mononoke is a crazy girl power film, complete with a femi-nazi iron making town full of women who mock and degrade the inept men. I prefer Porco, but whatever. 🙂 The film just doesn’t seem to me to have much of substance to say, so even though it’s enjoyable, I find it a little boring at times, and not intriguing enough to make it a favorite.
Pros: great animation, excellent music, the kodama (!!! so, so creepy-cool), fun and adventurous, pretty cool action sequences, the deer god is awesome
Cons: not much to say, not very relatable or inspiring, kinda slow at times, just okay for my taste overall
Most would probably give this film 4 stars, but though I acknowledge that it’s a great film in some ways, it’s just not my favorite. So, I’m only going to give it *** out of *****