Benjamin Green’s review published on Letterboxd:
20/21 Studio Ghibli seen
First time watch: July 2020
Princess Mononoke is the 1997 Studio Ghibli release written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki which stormed to critical and commercial success in a story that follows young prince Ashitaka who is involved in an epic struggle between the gods of the forest and humans who destroy it.
I am finally nearing the completion of my Studio Ghibli run after beginning way back at the beginning of the year. With only Grave of the Fireflies left, which was the only title not put on Netflix, I have consumed all the Studio has to offer in its animation beauty and elegant story telling. Reoccurring themes run deep through the films and non more so than that of the environment. Princess Mononoke is the biggest advocate for this as it directly confronts the environmental degradation. Titles from the studio such as Pom Poko and Ponyo clearly portray the message but never has it been so powerful as in this.
Princess Mononoke is an emotional affair, one that perfectly communicates its theme about the sacredness of nature through a rich visual tapestry. Regardless of age this is something that can be clearly appreciated by all and more so relevant today in 2020. The irony of humans destroying nature, the thing that we also rely on for survival, is not lost and Miyazaki uses its characters to evoke emotional investment in the developing plot.
There is so much depth, in the storytelling further themes of sexuality and loss of innocence seep through its core. Theres entertaining action and unexpected violence juxtaposed with tender moments. Princess Mononoke has to be up there as one of the studios best works. I look forward to rewatching all these titles again someday, hopefully in chronological order and discover new layers missed on first watches.
Asian Cinema (Animated) List