The Tale of the Princess Kaguya ★★★★½

Translating the thoughts and feelings one are left with after 'Princess Kaguya' into words on paper is challenging. There is an ethereal beauty to the hand-drawn artwork presented in this graceful retelling of an ancient japanese folktale.

Whether if it's Kaguya's thrilling laugh, the birds chirping in the woods or a bamboo grove lit on fire by the sunset, it's near impossible not to be moved by the display of natural beauty present in the film. The tale itself is highly spiritual, as Kaguya springs to life from a bamboo shoot and turns into a lively young girl in the japanese mountainside, before being restrained and forcefully pushed into the role of a noble princess due to a misled interpretation of mandate from heaven.

It is a very romantic story of grief and loss as the cycle of life continues, ever urging Kaguya to return to her roots in the mountainside and experience joy and laugh with her friends, far away from the oppressive nature of nobility where she is left to quietly rebel against her depressive life. Gold and nobility cannot bring Kaguya happiness like the sound of the forest and the laughter of the birds could.

A flawless marriage between animation, moving pictures and music, 'The Tale of the Princess Kaguya' is an outstanding lyrical work. Utilizing nursery rhymes, charming drawings and vivid colors alongside the romantic story of retaining ones humanity and spirituality by closeness to nature, it effortlessly takes its place among the most revered work of Studio Ghibli - so far.

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