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Princess Mononoke – Review March 17, 2009

Posted by Cello in Anime Reviews.


Known for meticulous animation and a minimal use of computers and graphic technology, Miyazaki and his animation studio, Studio Ghibli, have produced inventive stories and characters reminiscent of such authors as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. One of my favorite among them is Princess Mononoke, which proved to be a great feat in animation, as it grossed more than 160 million dollars at the japanese box office. The film is both beautiful and violent as Miyazaki’s creatures and worlds collide with the broader themes of human nature, survival and morality. I must also note that aside from Akira, this was one of the first full length anime movies I saw and it made my interest in anime grow even more.

The plot of Princess Mononoke started with a young guy Prince Ashitaka who eventually becomes the curse for his peoples in an attempt to kill the demon who attacked his village. This is the classic display of the battle between mankind and nature. Its this particular fight which gives him an unwanted gift of the curse that has now generated within him. This curse was so dangerous that he has to leave his village to find the source of this curse and possibly the cure.


The animation is smooth, colorful, and detailed beyond belief. Simple things, like water, are depicted beautifully enough to catch your breath. Movement is fluid and lifelike, and the use of light and shadows are spot-on.

The musical score is brilliant. It’s grand, magical, and always well timed. Rare for an anime soundtrack, silence is effectively used, often enhancing a scene’s atmosphere. It’s worth noting, however, that the Japanese track is significantly louder and fuller. While on the subject, the English dub track is very well done, with excellent performances by all but Billy Bob Thorton (Jigo the monk), but the Japanese version is still this reviewer’s choice. It has none of the embarrassing or awkward moments of the dub and none of the translation errors, making it the preferred track. This is the total package for what an anime movie should be.  I assure you that this is just the beginning in a long line of reviews that spotlight on Studio Ghibli. Strong Recommondation.



1. Mint - March 17, 2009

Studio Ghibli has a good, long record of pumping out very solid movies. Miyazaki, in particular, is very consistant (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Lupin III). Other Studio Ghibli movies (Grave of the Fireflies) are equally touching.

I hope to see more of your reviews in the future. 😀

~ Mint

2. Heather - March 17, 2009

I have not seen the Japanese version myself, but I still adore this movie. One of my favorites. After reading your review it made me want to go watch it again.

And Mint thanks for bringing up Spirited Away and Grave Of The Fireflies….those are two more I need also need to revisit. 🙂

3. King Jol - March 17, 2009

Yeah this movie is brilliant. Watched it about a month ago and was gripped from start to finish. I loved Spirited Away, and I think this topped it, just.

4. killmissdaisy - March 17, 2009

Believe it or not I have never seen this one from Miyazaki and I really really need to. I own a couple of his movies but not this one. So I guess now I REALLY must watch!

Really nice reviews and site here. We have a lot of the same tastes. 🙂 Thanks for visiting my blog too. 🙂

5. gn2nik - March 18, 2009

I liked this movie.. I had watched it a long time ago.. I remember a scene when Ashitaka used his bow and blown off an enemy’s hand because he was cursed :p

Really nice movie “HIGHLY RECOMMENDED”

6. mel - March 25, 2009

i love Hayao Miyazaki. =DD

7. Tamarti - March 25, 2009

I agree with you when you say that the English dubbing is well done. In fact, if you compare it to other dubs, I would say it is magnificent. Even if the Japanese voices are a little more fulfilling, I would still highly recommend this to anyone that can get it in either of the two languages. Good review.

8. Leonia - October 29, 2009

This is my favorite Ghibli’s production ! I love San, and the wolf god Moro (the Cominica’s figure is beautiful, i will post today the review).

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