Princess Mononoke (1997) voices Billy Crudup, Billy Bob Thornton, Minnie Driver, Claire Danes Movie Review

Princess Mononoke (1997)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Almost Princess Monotony

After battling a cursed giant boar, young warrior Ashitaka becomes infected by the mysterious curse and after consulting with the elders in his village is told to head to the forests of the west as a cure may be found which will save his life. Eventually he makes it and finds himself involved in a conflict between the animal gods of the forest lead by Princess Mononoke and Lady Eboshi and her clan of people.

Like many my encounters with Studio Ghibli could be classed as out of synch as I only come across them later in life and watched them out of order. As such before watching the well respected "Princess Mononoke" for the first time I had already watched "Howl's Moving Castle" and "The Wind Rises" to name just two. And in truth that matters because that aspect of amazement you get from watching your first Studio Ghibli anime is special and I get a feeling by the number of glowing reviews that many people's first encounter with anime was "Princess Mononoke".

The thing is that I didn't get that when I watched "Princess Mononoke" and found the storyline a bit laborious. Don't get me wrong as this has that story telling charm which many a Studio Ghibli anime has but it didn't draw me in like others have done and truthfully I found it too slow. I also hate to say it but I also found it lacking subtlety in places when it came to the message it was putting across.

But then it is hard not to be mesmerised by "Princess Mononoke" as it is beautiful, ridiculously beautiful in places and so detailed. From the splinters flying off a weapon as it is smashed to the curse which is swarming over the giant boar it is visually stunning.

What this all boils down to is that "Princess Mononoke" is certainly up there visually with other Studio Ghibli movies but the story is an acquired taste and unfortunately it didn't do it for me.