A landmark in the history of anime cinema, this film is a re-working of an oriental legend into a norse tale. It follows the story of a young boy called Hols, charting his acceptance into a fishing village and his battle against the demon Grunwald who killed his father.
Of course, being much older than films such as Spirited Away, the animation is much more primitive; yet even when one scene is reduced to being played out by a sequence of stills, the film loses none of its power. This is down to the believable and complex characters (the amiguous Hilda and the scheming chief's assistant being two good examples) , the majestic musical score and its epic theme of teamwork and honesty overcoming a seemingly unstoppable evil..... and, of course, a good old-fashioned adventure through spectacular landscapes. Even minor characters are unique and developed, creating empathy for the plight of the villagers and the designs of monsters and buildings is flawless throughout.
The film has a warmth which belies its age and can be enjoyed on so many different levels - as a historic piece of art, as a brilliant story, as a commentary on a time and on people in general. As such it is a timeless classic, completely enjoyable by all ages and i heartily recommend it.