Princess Mononoke

Bomb Rating: 

The kind of adults who think animation is cool are the same people who've seen every episode of "Xena" and have license plates on their cars that say things like "BeemMeUp."

If Disney animation is somehow representative of who we are as Americans, then what does Hayao Miyazaki's stuff say about the Japanese?

If you take into consideration that Miyazaki hand-drew something like 80% of all the animation in this film, I think the words "obsessive-compulsive" could be put to good use. Isn't this a culture that's pretty big on hand-washing? Then there's the whole theme of man living in harmony with nature. What kind of fantasy is that? Miyazaki can wax positive all he wants about woodland sprites and happy campers, but when he opens the door to his house -- asphalt jungle.

Why this film is called 'Princess Mononoke' is anybody's guess. The main character is really Ashitaka (voice by Billy Crudup), who kills a huge boar, only to discover that said boar is actually a forest god which has put a curse on him. This sends Ashitaka on a quest. He meets Lady Eboshi (Minnie Driver), who's sort of like the mythical industrialist. Eventually, he also meets Princess Mononoke (Claire Danes), who rides a wolf and tries to protect the forest. Ashitaka then fights for a compromise between them.

This is part of a new wave (at least in this country) of animated films for adults. Unfortunately, the kind of adults who think animation is cool are the same people who've seen every episode of "Xena" and have license plates on their cars that say things like: "BeemMeUp." I've noticed that most of these people have an extremely difficult time with hair care and if they don't actually smell, they look like they smell. An audience like this is just added stress I don't need while watching a film.

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