1997 Movie Review: PRINCESS MONONOKE, 1997 (Directed by Hayao Miyazaki)

Festival Reviews

Movie Reviews

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Voices by: Yôji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida
Review by Amish Mulmi


On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami’s curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest and Tataraba, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.



Princess Mononoke (1997) is indeed a very deceptive film. It may be an animation, but that does not mean it’s a children’s film. Its complexities and multiple themes layered within mean that it is very different from the Disney-esque animations that children are rather fonder of. It begins in an idyllic rural setting, but soon jumps into a battle between forest-gods and humans. A decapitation—probably a first for a Hayao Miyazaki film—later, it engulfs the audience into a debate between development and sustainability, greed and satisfaction, and war versus pacifism.

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