(Versión en español, AQUÍ)
Princess Mononoke (も の の け 姫 Mononoke Hime) is a Japanese animated film by Hayao Miyazaki which was released in 1997. Set in medieval Japan, focuses on the struggle between the supernatural guardians of a forest and the humans who need their resources, seen by the outsider Ashitaka.
Actually, Mononoke (物 の 怪 (も の の け)) is not a name, but a description which can be translated in this context as “avenging spirit”; so the title of the film could be literally translated as The Avengers spirits Princess.
This exotically beautiful action film features gods and demons locked in a struggle for the future of the unspoiled forest and an elaborate moral universe that Mr. Miyazaki has created. As such, it is a sweeping, ambitious version of the comic-book storytelling that engendered it. Frequent battle scenes, graphic enough to make a sharp distinction between ”Princess Mononoke” and animation made for children, keep the story in motion. These are often breathtakingly rendered, but it is the film’s stirring use of nature, myth and history that make it so special.
(The) forests, imbued with a stirring, forthright sense of natural beauty, turn out to be filled with Mr. Miyazaki’s fanciful inventions. The film is worth seeing just for the sight of its Forest Spirit, which takes animal-like form by day and roams the nights as a diaphanous Godzilla-like divinity with magical powers. The image of plants and flowers springing to life beneath the Forest Spirit’s hooves as he walks is simple, meaningful and ravishingly presented.
The drama is underlaid with Miyazaki’s deep humanism, which avoids easy moral simplifications. There is a remarkable scene where San and Ashitaka, who have fallen in love, agree that neither can really lead the life of the other, and so they must grant each other freedom, and only meet occasionally. You won’t find many Hollywood love stories (animated or otherwise) so philosophical. “Princess Mononoke” is a great achievement and a wonderful experience, and one of the best films of the year.
Princess Mononoke is an absolutely wonderful example of the way that realism and fantasy can be combined to enhance both things. This applies to both its visuals and its story – the consistent logic and characterization helps to immerse the audience just as much as the representation of the costuming and environments.
In all, Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke is a great success when it comes to revealing issues revolving around environmental issues. Through the use of juxtaposition, music, and colors, and the emotions they can possible invoke, Miyazaki easily conveys how humans are at fault for destroying nature and how war devastates nature to the viewer. For instance, Miyazaki’s rhetoric strategies invoke in me emotions that make me realize his humanistic messages. Thus, I conclude that Princess Mononoke is a great film and teaches morals that benefit the world
“Princess Mononoke” is a movie that teaches us to be more respectful towards nature. The personification of animals argues that we should treat nature more like humans, while the ending of the movie tells us that we should respect our differences. The movie offers us a viewpoint on the way humans are treating nature, and at the end of the movie, the humans nearly go too far when they kill the forest spirit.
This being a Miyazaki movie, though, there is still a lot of beauty to be had, especially from the Great Forest Spirit itself and the surounding mythical creatures. In these scenes, the filmmaker explores his love of nature and his wish that it remain pure and untainted by man. When the Spirit’s head is removed, its face contorts slightly to look a bit more like a human, implying even a god can be just another dead person in the wake of greedy people. He also gives us a bit of hope at the end of the movie, once the Spirit’s head is returned; Eboshi and the mercenary aren’t killed but they instead learn from their ways, or at least agree not to continue down their current paths. San and Ashitaka cannot be together, but they do remain friendly and will surely see each other again, while she goes to protect the forest, and he goes to help rebuild (for the better this time) the village of Irontown.
The most important theme in the film, by far, is its message of environmentalism. Because the film takes place hundreds of years in the past, we feel the modern tragedy that what the Gods feared most did come to pass – the forests and their spirits have all but disappeared because of the onslaught of consumerism, industrialism, and capitalism. It emphasizes that there must be a balance – each side has to be willing to give something to survive, and that living together in peace is the best solution for everyone.
The best: its captivating fusion of delicate and spectacular, its torrential narrative sense, their ability to mythological evocation.
Princess Mononoke is a fascinating film with many layers of dichotomies, moral ambiguities, and complex themes. In the eternal battle of men vs. women, this film posits a strong message of equality, and of both men and women working together.
Nature, too, is not represented quite so simply. The natural world of Princess Mononoke is gentle and beautiful, but it is capable of defending itself with an awesome ferocity. (So much so, that the violent imagery might not be suitable for some younger viewers. See the film before deciding to bring the tykes and decide for yourself.) As a result, the questions being raised by the movie are not simple, nor are their answers.
“In ancient times, the land lay covered in forests, where from ages long past, dwelt the spirits of the gods. Back then, man and beast lived in harmony, but as time went by, most of the great forests were destroyed. Those that remained were guarded by gigantic beasts who owed their allegiances to the Great Forest Spirit, for those were the days of gods and of demons…”
– Introduction of Princess Mononoke