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4.8 out of 5 stars
285
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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VINE VOICEon 30 October 2001
When I heard that this film was finally coming out over here I was very excited. I'd never seen it before, but had seen other works of Hayao Miyazaki such as Totoro and Cagliostro. I was worried when I heard it had been bought and dubbed by Disney, fearing another mangled and edited poor translation as happened with Nausicaa /warriors of the wind.
However, the translation is superb - done by no less than Neil Gaimen of Sandman fame - and the voice acting actually very good, with little of the poor acting and odd characterisation we've come to be used to. Perhaps the translation looses us some of the finer points, but none the less, it's superb.
The film - What can I say? This is an epic tale that will draw anyone in who starts watching it, no matter how old they are. I watched this with my father, who's not a fan of animation (especially not Japanese animation), and he was enthralled, loving the beauty and the characters. It's certainly not a children's film, as it becomes quite dark towards the end. Dealing with themes such as mankind's effect on the environment and the destructive power of anger, this film tells the tale of the conflicts between a group of humans and a group of nature gods. Some scenes have echoes of Nausicaa, especially in character designs, and fans of Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood books will find much they like here. Scenes of the Forest Spirit changing from the Night Walker to a multi horned, human faced deer that can walk on water have a strange magical pagan feel to them, and an eerie beauty.
I'm trying not to say too much about the story as to give things away would be a crime if you've not seen the film before. I will say this : the ending is spectacular and satisfying - in some ways it reminds me of the finale of Akira - yet it still manages to remain open ended. The viewer and the characters are treated with respect and we're not given a cut and dried "punish the bad / reward the good" ending. Indeed, there are few characters in the film who can be viewed as purely bad. This is a good thing.
This package doesn't have too many extras. You can see a nice trailer, a short making of film, and have the option to watch in the original language, which is always nice. You do get Helen McCarthy's excellent book on Hayao Miyazaki, and that is a superb bonus. Let's hope that we start to see more films given this treatment soon!
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on 24 January 2008
A superb example of what animation should be instead of the hackneyed, clichéd, straight-to-video rubbish that one usually gets. The story is stunning, the animation is great and the voices in the English dub are excellent with some big names (Minnie Driver and Clare Danes to name two!) in the mix.

As another reviewer said, this is not a film for young children. I would not show this to a child under 10 or 12, as it has some blood, violence and relatively gruesome scenes. There are also quite a few parts which would scare younger children, including the opening scene with the boar-demon. Don't be fooled by the "PG" rating, I'd give this a 12 or a 12A had it been my decision.

Along with this, also watch "Spirited Away", another classic anime from Studio Ghibli, which is also more child-friendly than Princess Mononoke. Also try "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Nausicaa".

An excellent introduction to anime and a great addition to any DVD collection.
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on 30 May 2013
This is the second Anime from Studio Ghibil (Spellcheck?) that I have watched. The first being Spirited Away, I must say that I loved Princess Mononoke more and I fell in love with the Tree Spirits. The story is great, the colours are amazing too. The dubbing is very accurate. The only negative is that the music can be louder than the voices in some parts as it is quite a quiet film. The story is very interesting. I recommend this to anyone who loves anime and fans of Studio Ghibil!
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on 5 April 2017
One of the better ghiblis. If you're not collecting them all you should get this one
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on 13 June 2017
Simply my favourite Miyazaki film...
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Ok
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on 9 September 2017
Exactly what I wanted. Prompt delivery. No problems. Would use again.
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on 24 July 2017
Superb!
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on 30 July 2017
Bought as gift.
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on 7 August 2017
Excellent movie and worth every penny!
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