Princess Mononoke - Hayao Miyazaki
Princess Mononoke has won kudos and fame for its complex story and gorgeous animation. Created by Hayao Miyazaki, this is not a tale for the young kids.
We begin with Ashitaka, a boy in feudal Japan who kills a boar that is infected with demonic anger. He heads out to find the source of this infection. As he goes on his quest, he gets embroiled in a struggle between the wild survival of nature and the deliberate progress of technology.
The title Mononoke is a human girl who was raised by wolves. She fights alongside them to defend her homeland. The people of "Irontown" are of course taking over the forest to fuel their industry. But nothing is ever black and white in this movie. Nature lives on a creed of kill-or-be-killed. The humans simply want to survive as well, and that means they consume resources.
There's a rich blend of Japanese mythology in the story as well, helping you understand the underlying beliefs that many in Asia hold dear. It's like talking about fairies and wishes in a European story, about wishing on a star or crossing fingers for good luck.
This is NOT a movie for the young. I know a 9 yr old who saw this and was upset for weeks afterwards. It involves a lot of violence and adult themes. There are no easy answers here. But for teens and above, it does give you a lot to think about.
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