As previously reported here, Studio Ghibli Fest is back for a return engagement in select theaters this year, offering a chance to catch some of the more obscure and fantastical creations to come out of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s operation on the big screen — as they were meant to be seen.
Princess Mononoke is up next, July 22-23 and 25. This epic 1997 tale of wild gods and nature spirits clashing with the iron fist of human ingenuity in feudal Japan is what introduced me to the work of Miyazaki’s studio. Claire Danes, Billy Crudup, Minnie Driver, Gillian Anderson, Billy Bob Thornton and Keith David are among the amazing English voice cast.
Inflicted with a deadly curse, the young warrior Ashitaka heads west in search of a cure. There, he stumbles into bitter conflict between Lady Eboshi, the proud people of Iron Town, and the enigmatic Princess Mononoke, a young girl raised by wolves, who will stop at nothing to prevent the humans from destroying her home and the forest spirits and animal gods who live there.
The Sunday and Wednesday screenings will be dubbed in English, while the Monday showing is in the original Japanese presented with English subtitles.
It’s a film I saw no fewer than five times at the old Harkins Camelview, and it was the first DVD I ever purchased, so I think it’s safe to say I’d recommend checking out Princess Mononoke in some form if you haven’t had the pleasure … (Of course, now it’s available in a Blu-ray/DVD combo for a steal.)