Princess Mononoke

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Princess Mononoke
Princess Mononoke Japanese poster.png
Japanese theatrical release poster
Japanese もののけ姫
Hepburn Mononoke-hime
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Written byHayao Miyazaki
Produced by Toshio Suzuki
Starring
CinematographyAtsushi Okui
Edited by Takeshi Seyama
Music by Joe Hisaishi
Production
company
Distributed by Toho
Release date
  • July 12, 1997 (1997-07-12)
Running time
133 minutes
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese
Budget
  • ¥2.1 billion
  • ( $23.5 million)
Box office$169.7 million [1]

Princess Mononoke (Japanese: もののけ姫, Hepburn: Mononoke-hime ) is a 1997 Japanese epic fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, animated by Studio Ghibli for Tokuma Shoten, Nippon Television Network and Dentsu, and distributed by Toho. The film stars the voices of Yōji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yūko Tanaka, Kaoru Kobayashi, Masahiko Nishimura, Tsunehiko Kamijo, Akihiro Miwa, Mitsuko Mori and Hisaya Morishige.

Contents

Princess Mononoke is set in the late Muromachi period of Japan (approximately 1336 to 1573 CE), but it includes fantasy elements. The story follows a young Emishi prince named Ashitaka, and his involvement in a struggle between the gods of a forest and the humans who consume its resources. The term Mononoke ( 物の怪 ), or もののけ, is not a name, but a Japanese word for supernatural, shape-shifting beings that possess people and cause suffering, disease, or death.

The film was released in Japan on July 12, 1997, and in the United States on October 29, 1999. It was a critical and commercial blockbuster, becoming the highest-grossing film in Japan of 1997, and also held Japan's box office record for domestic films until 2001's Spirited Away , another Miyazaki film. It was dubbed into English with a script by Neil Gaiman, and initially distributed in North America by Miramax, where it sold well on DVD and video, despite a poor box office performance; however it greatly increased Ghibli's popularity and influence outside Japan.

Plot

In Muromachi Japan, an Emishi village is attacked by a boar-shaped demon. The last Emishi prince, Ashitaka, kills it before it reaches the village, but it manages to grasp his arm and curse him before its death. The curse grants him some superhuman strength combined with great pain, and will eventually spread through his body and kill him. The villagers discover that the demon was a boar god, corrupted by an iron ball lodged in his body. The village's wise woman tells Ashitaka that he may find a cure in the western lands Nago came from, and that he cannot return to his homeland.

Heading west, Ashitaka meets Jigo, an opportunist posing as a monk, who tells Ashitaka he may find help from the Great Forest Spirit, a deer-like animal god by day and a giant Night Walker by night. Nearby, men herd oxen to their home of Iron Town, led by Lady Eboshi, and repel an attack by a wolf pack led by the wolf goddess Moro. Riding one of the wolves is San, a human girl. A brief melee ensues with Lady Eboshi wounding Moro, and a few men being thrown over the cliff's edge. Down below, Ashitaka encounters Moro, San and the wolves; he asks about the Forest Spirit but is rebuffed. He then manages to rescue two of the men fallen from the cliff and transports them back through the forest, where in the distance he sees for the first time the Great Forest Spirit. As he and the Spirit spot each other his arm reacts violently before the Spirit moves on. Soon after, Ashitaka and the survivors arrive at Iron Town where he's greeted with fascination. Ashitaka learns that Eboshi built the town by clearcutting forests to produce iron, leading to conflicts with Asano, a local daimyō, and a giant boar god named Nago. Iron Town is a refuge for outcasts and lepers employed to manufacture iron and firearms; one of the same that wounded Nago. Eboshi explains that San, Princess Mononoke, was raised by the wolves and resents humankind. She admits she shot Nago, incidentally turning him into the demon that attacked Ashitaka.

At the same moment, San infiltrates Iron Town to kill Eboshi. Ashitaka intervenes and quickly subdues Eboshi and San while they're locked in combat. Amidst the hysteria, he's shot by a villager but the curse gives him strength to carry San out of the village. San awakens and prepares to kill the weakened Ashitaka, but hesitates when he tells her she's beautiful. She decides to trust him after the Forest Spirit heals his bullet wound that night. The next day a boar clan, led by the blind god Okkoto, plans to attack Iron Town to save the forest. Eboshi sets out to kill the Forest Spirit with Jigo, working for the government, and intends to give the god's head to the Emperor in return for protection from Lord Asano.

Ashitaka recovers and finds Iron Town besieged by Asano's samurai. The boar clan has been annihilated in battle, and Okkoto is badly wounded. Jigo's men then trick Okkoto into leading them to the Forest Spirit. San tries to stop Okkoto but is swept up as his pain corrupts him into a demon. As everyone clashes at the pool of the Forest Spirit, Ashitaka saves San while the Forest Spirit kills Moro and Okkoto. As it begins to transform into the Night Walker, Eboshi decapitates it. Jigo steals the head, while the Forest Spirit's body bleeds ooze that spreads over the land and kills anything it touches. The forest and kodama begin to die; Moro's head comes alive and bites off Eboshi's right arm, but she survives.

After Iron Town is evacuated, Ashitaka and San pursue Jigo and retrieve the head, returning it to the Forest Spirit. The Spirit dies but its form washes over the land, healing it and lifting Ashitaka's curse. Ashitaka stays to help rebuild Iron Town, but promises San he will visit her in the forest. Eboshi vows to build a better town. The forest begins to grow, as one kodama emerges within the forest.

Cast and characters

The cast also includes: Akira Nagoya as the cattleman leader (牛飼いの長, Ushigai no Naga); Kimihiro Reizei as a Jibashiri (ジバシリ); Tetsu Watanabe as a mountain wolf (山犬, Yamainu); Makoto Sato as Nago (ナゴの守, Nago no Mori), a wild boar turned into a demon who curses Ashitaka when he attacks the Emishi village, voiced by John DiMaggio in the English version; and Sumi Shimamoto as Toki (トキ), Kohroku's wife, a former prostitute, and the leader of Eboshi's women, voiced by Jada Pinkett Smith in the English version.

Production

Shiratani Unsui forest, Yakushima Shiratani Unsui Gorge 17.jpg
Shiratani Unsui forest, Yakushima

In the late 1970s, Miyazaki drew sketches of a film about a princess living in the woods with a beast. [9] Miyazaki began writing the film's plotline and drew the initial storyboards for the film in August 1994. [10] [11] He had difficulties adapting his early ideas and visualisations, because elements had already been used in My Neighbor Totoro and because of societal changes since the creation of the original sketches and image boards. This writer's block prompted him to accept a request for the creation of the On Your Mark promotional music video for the Chage and Aska song of the same title. According to Toshio Suzuki, the diversion allowed Miyazaki to return for a fresh start on the creation of Princess Mononoke. In April 1995, supervising animator Masashi Ando devised the character designs from Miyazaki's storyboard. In May 1995, Miyazaki drew the initial storyboards. That same month, Miyazaki and Ando went to the ancient forests of Yakushima, of Kyushu, an inspiration for the landscape of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind , and the mountains of Shirakami-Sanchi in northern Honshu for location scouting along with a group of art directors, background artists and digital animators for three days. [10] Animation production commenced in July 1995. [11] Miyazaki personally oversaw each of the 144,000 cels in the film, [12] [ failed verification ] and is estimated to have redrawn parts of 80,000 of them. [13] [ failed verification ] [14] The final storyboards of the film's ending were finished only months before the Japanese premiere date. [15]

Inspired by John Ford, an Irish-American director best known for his Westerns, Miyazaki created Irontown as a "tight-knit frontier town" and populated it with "characters from outcast groups and oppressed minorities who rarely, if ever, appear in Japanese films." He made the characters "yearning, ambitious and tough." [16] Miyazaki did not want to create an accurate history of Medieval Japan, and wanted to "portray the very beginnings of the seemingly insoluble conflict between the natural world and modern industrial civilization." [17] The landscapes appearing in the film were inspired by Yakushima. [18] Despite being set during the Muromachi period, the actual time period of Princess Mononoke depicts a "symbolic neverwhen clash of three proto-Japanese races (the Jomon, Yamato and Emishi)." [19]

3D rendering was used to create writhing demon flesh and composite it onto a hand-drawn Ashitaka Mononoke hime cgi.png
3D rendering was used to create writhing demon flesh and composite it onto a hand-drawn Ashitaka

Princess Mononoke was produced with an estimated budget of ¥2.35 billion (approximately US$23.5 million). [14] [20] [21] [ better source needed ] It was mostly hand-drawn, but incorporates some use of computer animation in approximately ten percent of the film. [22] The computer animated parts are designed to blend in and support the traditional cel animation, and are mainly used in images consisting of a mixture of computer generated graphics and traditional drawing. A further 10 minutes uses inked-and-painted, a technique used in all subsequent Studio Ghibli films. Most of the film is colored with traditional paint, based on the color schemes designed by Miyazaki and Michiyo Yasuda. However, producers agreed on the installation of computers to successfully complete the film prior to the Japanese premiere date. [15] Telecom Animation Film Company and Oh! Production helped animate the film. Toei Animation and DR Movie helped with the painting process.[ citation needed ]

Two titles were originally considered for the film. One, ultimately chosen, has been translated into English as Princess Mononoke. The other title can be translated into English as The Legend of Ashitaka (アシタカ𦻙記, Ashitaka Sekki), and it contains an uncommon kanji 𦻙 that represents "a legend passed down from ear to ear without being recorded in official history", according to Miyazaki. In a Tokyo Broadcasting System program, televised on November 26, 2013, Toshio Suzuki mentioned that Miyazaki had preferred The Legend of Ashitaka as the title while Suzuki himself favoured Princess Mononoke, though the former title was eventually reused for the first song on the soundtrack. [23] [24] The English dub contains minor additional voice overs to explain nuances of Japanese culture to western audiences. [25]

Themes

A central theme of Princess Mononoke is the environment. [26] The film centers on the adventure of Ashitaka as he journeys to the west to undo a fatal curse inflicted upon him by Nago, a boar turned into a demon by Eboshi. [27] Michelle J. Smith and Elizabeth Parsons said that the film "makes heroes of outsiders in all identity politics categories and blurs the stereotypes that usually define such characters". In the case of the deer god's destruction of the forest and Tataraba, Smith and Parsons said that the "supernatural forces of destruction are unleashed by humans greedily consuming natural resources". [28] They also characterized Eboshi as a business-woman who has a desire to make money at the expense of the forest, and also cite Eboshi's intention to destroy the forest to mine the mountain "embodies environmentalist evil". [27] Deirdre M. Pike writes that Princess Mononoke is simultaneously part of nature and part of the problem. [29] Mononoke represents the connection between the environment and humans, but also demonstrates that there is an imbalance in power between the two. [29]

Two other themes found in the plot of Princess Mononoke are sexuality and disability. Speaking at the International Symposium on Leprosy / Hansen's Disease History in Tokyo, Miyazaki explained that he was inspired to portray people living with leprosy, "said to be an incurable disease caused by bad karma", after visiting the Tama Zenshoen Sanatorium near his home in Tokyo. [30] Lady Eboshi is driven by her compassion for the disabled, and believes that blood from the Great Forest Spirit could allow her to "cure [her] poor lepers". [31] Michelle Jarman, Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at the University of Wyoming, and Eunjung Kim, Assistant Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, said the disabled and gendered sexual bodies were partially used as a transition from the feudal era to a hegemony that "embraces modern social systems, such as industrialization, gendered division of labor, institutionalization of people with diseases, and militarization of men and women." They likened Lady Eboshi to a monarch. [32] Kim and Jarman suggested that Eboshi's disregard of ancient laws and curses towards sex workers and lepers was enlightenment reasoning and her exploitation of disabled people furthered her modernist viewpoints. [33] Kim and Jarman conclude that Lady Eboshi's supposed benevolence in incorporating lepers and sex workers into her society leverages the social stigma attached to marginalized groups, pointing out that the hierarchical structures within Irontown still support the stigmatization of lepers and sex workers. [34]

An additional theme is the morally ambiguous conflict between humankind's growth and development and Nature's need for preservation. According to the Chicago Sun-Times's Roger Ebert, "It is not a simplistic tale of good and evil, but the story of how humans, forest animals and nature gods all fight for their share of the new emerging order." [35] Billy Crudup, who provided the English voice for Ashitaka, said "The movie was such an entirely different experience; it had a whole new sensibility I had never seen in animation. It also had something profound to say: that there has to be a give and take between man and nature. One of the things that really impressed me is that Miyazaki shows life in all its multi-faceted complexity, without the traditional perfect heroes and wicked villains. Even Lady Eboshi, who Ashitaka respects, is not so much evil as short-sighted." Minnie Driver, the English voice actress for Lady Eboshi, commented similarly: "It's one of the most remarkable things about the film: Miyazaki gives a complete argument for both sides of the battle between technological achievement and our spiritual roots in the forest. He shows that good and evil, violence and peace exist in us all. It's all about how you harmonize it all." [36] Anime historian Susan Napier said there is no clear good vs. evil conflict in Princess Mononoke, unlike other films popular with children. Based on the multiple point of views the film adopts, San and Lady Eboshi can simultaneously be viewed as heroic or villainous. San defends the forest and viewers empathize with her. But she also attacks innocent people, complicating how we evaluate her. Opposed to San, Eboshi tries to destroy the forest and could be considered a villain. But everything she does is out of a desire to protect her village and see it prosper. San and Lady Eboshi survive until film's end, defying the usual convention of good triumphing over evil with the antagonist defeated. Napier concluded that the resolution of the conflict is left ambiguous, implying that Lady Eboshi and San will be able to come to some sort of compromise. The ambiguity suggests that there are no true villains or heroes. [37]

Dan Jolin of Empire said that a potential theme could be that of lost innocence. Miyazaki attributes this to his experience of making his previous film, Porco Rosso , and the wars in the former Yugoslavia, which he cites as an example of mankind never learning, making it difficult for him to go back to making a film such as Kiki's Delivery Service , where he has been quoted as saying "It felt like children were being born to this world without being blessed. How could we pretend to them that we're happy?" [38]

Duality is central to Eboshi's characterization. Benjamin Thevenin, Assistant Professor of Theater and Media Arts at Brigham Young University, said Eboshi does not fully understand the harm she does to the spirits. Her focus is on creating a safe home for her people. She holds no malicious intent toward nature and its spirits until they begin attacking her people. Once nature attacks, she gathers her soldiers to protect the inhabitants of her town, a place where all are welcome. Irontown is a haven for former sex workers and lepers. She brings them to Irontown and gives them jobs, hospitality, and a kindness that they have never experienced before. The same treatment goes for all Irontown's inhabitants, not just the sickly and the scorned. Lady Eboshi treats everyone equally, no matter the race, sex, or history of the individual, creating a caring community. While Eboshi hates San and the forest spirits, she keeps a garden in her town. Her care for the garden implies that her intention is not to ravage nature to no end, but rather to help her own people. Thevenin concluded that although Eboshi can be seen as the film's villain, she is also a hero to the citizens of Irontown and to humankind in general. [39]

Another theme in this film is between individualism and societal conformity. According to University of Bristol professors Christos Ellinas, Neil Allan and Anders Johansson, this struggle can be seen between San, a strong individualistic force, and Eboshi, the leader of a great society. San has fully committed to living with the wolves in the forest and to renouncing her association with the human race. Eboshi has vowed to sustain her society of Irontown by any means including destroying the environment. The people of Irontown have a cohesive ideology and agree with Eboshi to protect Irontown at the cost of the environment's destruction. This conformity can be found within their society, because “even though there is an envisioned culture at which an organization abides to, achieving coherence at lower aggregation levels (e.g. individuals) is increasingly challenging due to its emergent nature”. [40]

Release

Princess Mononoke was released theatrically in Japan on July 12, 1997. [41] The film was extremely successful in Japan and with both anime fans and arthouse moviegoers in English-speaking countries. Since Walt Disney Studios had made a distribution deal with Tokuma Shoten for Studio Ghibli's films in 1996, it was the first film from Studio Ghibli along with Kiki's Delivery Service and Castle in the Sky to have been dubbed into English by Disney; in this case, subsidiary Miramax Films was assigned to release the movie in America on October 29, 1999. In response to demands from Miramax chairman Harvey Weinstein to edit the film, one of Miyazaki's producers sent Weinstein a samurai sword with the message: "No cuts." [42] Weinstein hired Neil Gaiman to write the English script. Promotion manager, Steve Alpert, revealed that Weinstein had wanted to trim the film down from 135 minutes to 90 minutes "despite having promised not to do so." When Alpert informed him that Miyazaki would not agree to these demands, Weinstein flew into one of his infamous rages and threatened Alpert that he would "never work in this...industry again". [43] According to scriptwriter Neil Gaiman at one of the American screenings of the dub, the release was somewhat delayed because the original recordings deviated from the English script as written. [44] Despite Gaiman's independent fame as an author, his role as scriptwriter for the dub was not heavily promoted: Studio Ghibli requested that Miramax remove some executives' names from the poster for the film, but the executives (Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, and Scott Martin) decided that Gaiman's name was contractually expendable. [45]

On April 29, 2000, the English-dub version of Princess Mononoke was released theatrically in Japan along with the documentary Mononoke hime in U.S.A.. [41] The documentary was directed by Toshikazu Sato and featured Miyazaki visiting the Walt Disney Studios and various film festivals. [41] [46] The film had a limited theatrical re-release in the United States during July 2018. [47]

Box office

Princess Mononoke was the highest-grossing Japanese film of 1997, earning ¥11.3 billion in distribution rental earnings. [48] It became the highest-grossing film in Japan, beating the record set by E.T. in 1982, but was surpassed several months later by Titanic . [49] The film earned total domestic gross receipts of ¥20.18 billion. [50]

It was the top-grossing anime film in the United States in January 2001, but the film did not fare as well financially in the country when released in October 1999. It grossed $2,298,191 for the first eight weeks. [51] [47] It showed more strength internationally, where it earned a total of $11 million outside Japan, bringing its worldwide total to $159,375,308 at the time. [47] On December 6, 2016, GKIDS announced that it will screen the film in US cinemas on January 5 and January 9, 2017 to celebrate its 20th anniversary, [52] bundled with On Your Mark short. [53] The film's limited US re-release in 2018 grossed $1,423,877 over five days, bringing its US total to $3,799,185 and worldwide total to $160,799,185. [47] As of 2020, the film has grossed $194.3 million. [1]

Home media

In Japan, the film was released on VHS by Buena Vista Home Entertainment on June 26, 1998. [54] [ failed verification ] A LaserDisc edition was also released by Tokuma Japan Communications on the same day. The film was released on DVD by Buena Vista Home Entertainment on November 21, 2001, with bonus extras added, including the international versions of the film as well as the storyboards. [54] [ failed verification ] By 2007, Princess Mononoke sold 4.4 million DVD units in Japan. [55] At an average retail price of ¥4,700, this is equivalent to approximately ¥20,680 million($259.18 million) in Japanese sales revenue as of 2007. [56]

In July 2000, Buena Vista Home Entertainment via Miramax Home Entertainment announced plans to release the film on VHS and DVD in North America on August 29. [57] Initially, the DVD version of Princess Mononoke wasn't going to include the Japanese-language track at the request of Buena Vista's Japan division. Because that the film hadn't been released on DVD in Japan yet, there were concerns that "a foreign-released DVD containing the Japanese language track will allow for the importation of such a DVD to Japan, which could seriously hurt the local sales of a future release of the [film]". [58] The fansite Nausicaa.net organized an email campaign for fans to include the Japanese language track, [58] while DVD Talk began an online petition to retain the Japanese language track. [59] The DVD release of Princess Mononoke was delayed as a result. [60] Miramax Home Entertainment released the DVD on December 19, 2000 with the original Japanese audio, the English dubbed audio and extras including a trailer and a documentary with interviews from the English dub voice actors. [61] The film was released on Blu-ray disc in Japan on December 4, 2013. [62]

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released Princess Mononoke on Blu-ray Disc on November 18, 2014. [63] In its first week, it sold 21,860 units; by November 23, 2014, it had grossed $502,332. [64] It was later included in Disney's "The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki" Blu-ray set, released on November 17, 2015. [65] GKIDS re-issued the film on Blu-ray and DVD on October 17, 2017. [66] In total, Mononoke's video releases in Japan and the United States sold approximately $260 million.

Reception

Critical response

As of January 2021, on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 93% of 110 critic reviews are positive for Princess Mononoke, with an average rating of 8.00/10. The website's consensus reads, "With its epic story and breathtaking visuals, Princess Mononoke is a landmark in the world of animation." [67] According to Metacritic, which assigned an average score of 76 out of 100 based on 29 reviews, the film received "generally favorable reviews". [68]

The Daily Yomiuri's Aaron Gerow called the film a "powerful compilation of [Hayao] Miyazaki's world, a cumulative statement of his moral and filmic concerns." [69] Leonard Klady of Variety said that Princess Mononoke "is not only more sharply drawn, it has an extremely complex and adult script" and the film "has the soul of a romantic epic, and its lush tones, elegant score by Joe Hisaishi and full-blooded characterizations give it the sweep of cinema's most grand canvases". [70] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called Princess Mononoke "a great achievement and a wonderful experience, and one of the best films of the year. […] You won’t find many Hollywood love stories (animated or otherwise) so philosophical." [71] Ty Burr of Entertainment Weekly called the film "a windswept pinnacle of its art" and that it "has the effect of making the average Disney film look like just another toy story". [72] In his review, Dave Smith from Gamers' Republic called it "one of the greatest animated films ever created, and easily one of the best films of 1999." [73]

Roger Ebert placed Princess Mononoke sixth on his top ten movies of 1999. [74] In 2001, the Japanese magazine Animage ranked Princess Mononoke 47th in their list of 100 Best Anime Productions of All Time. [75] It ranked 488th on Empire 's list of the 500 greatest films. [76] Time Out ranked the film 26th on 50 greatest animated films. [77] It also ranked 26 on Total Film's list of 50 greatest animated films. [78]

James Cameron cited Princess Mononoke as an influence on his 2009 film Avatar . He acknowledged that it shares themes with Princess Mononoke, including its clash between cultures and civilizations, and cited Princess Mononoke as an influence on the ecosystem of Pandora. [79]

Accolades

Princess Mononoke is the first animated feature film to win the Japan Academy Prize for Best Picture. [80] For the 70th Academy Awards ceremony, Princess Mononoke was the Japanese submission to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but was not successfully nominated. [81] Hayao Miyazaki was also nominated for an Annie Award for his work on the film. [82]

YearAwardCategoryRecipientResult
199752nd Mainichi Film Awards Best Film Princess Mononoke [83] Won
Best Animation Film Princess Mononoke [83] Won
Japanese Movie Fans' ChoicePrincess Mononoke [83] Won
10th Nikkan Sports Film Awards Best Director Hayao MiyazakiWon
Yūjirō Ishihara Award Princess Mononoke [83] Won
199821st Japan Academy Awards Picture of the Year Princess Mononoke [80] Won
40th Blue Ribbon Awards Special Award Princess MononokeWon
22nd Hochi Film Awards Special AwardPrincess MononokeWon
2000 28th Annie Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing
in an Animated Feature Production
Hayao Miyazaki
(English language version) [84]
Nominated
4th Golden Satellite Awards Best Animated or Mixed Media FilmPrincess MononokeNominated
2001 27th Saturn Awards Best Home Video ReleasePrincess MononokeWon

Soundtrack

Princess Mononoke: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedJuly 2, 1997 (Japan)
October 12, 1999 (North America)
Recorded1997
Length65:05
Label Milan (North America)
Tokuma Japan Communications (Japan)

The film score of Princess Mononoke was composed and performed by Joe Hisaishi, the soundtrack composer for nearly all of Miyazaki's productions, and Miyazaki wrote the lyrics of the two vocal tracks, "The Tatara Women Work Song" and its title song. The music was performed by Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Hiroshi Kumagai. The soundtrack was released in Japan by Tokuma Japan Communications on July 2, 1997, and the North American version was released by Milan Records on October 12, 1999.

The titular theme song was performed by counter-tenor Yoshikazu Mera. For the English adaptation, Sasha Lazard sang the song. During the movie Hisaishi makes use of a few known classical pieces and quotes them, such as Dmitri Shostakovich's 5th symphony. As with other Studio Ghibli films, additional albums featuring soundtrack themes in alternative versions have been released. The image album features early versions of the themes, recorded at the beginning of the film production process, and used as source of inspiration for the various artists involved. The symphonic suite features longer compositions, each encompassing several of the movie themes, performed by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Mario Klemens.

Stage adaptation

In 2012, it was announced that Studio Ghibli and British theatre company Whole Hog Theatre would be bringing Princess Mononoke to the stage. It is the first stage adaptation of a Studio Ghibli work. [85] The contact between Whole Hog Theatre and Studio Ghibli was facilitated by Nick Park of Aardman Animations after he sent footage of Whole Hog performances to Studio Ghibli's Toshio Suzuki. [86] The play features large puppets made out of recycled and reclaimed materials. [87]

The first performances were scheduled for London's New Diorama Theatre and sold out in 72 hours, a year in advance. [88] [89] In March 2013, it was announced that the show would transfer to Japan after its first run of shows in London. A second series of performances followed in London after the return from Tokyo. The second run of London performances sold out in four and half hours. [90] [91] The play received positive reviews and was one of Lyn Gardner's theatre picks in The Guardian . [92] [93] [94] [95] [96] On April 27, 2013, the play was presented at Nico Nico Douga's Cho Party and was streamed online in Japan. [97] [98]

See also

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<i>On Your Mark</i> 1995 film directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Ghibli Experimental Theater On Your Mark is an animated music video created by Studio Ghibli for the song "On Your Mark" by the Japanese rock duo Chage & Aska. The song was released in 1994 as part of the single "Heart". In 1995, Hayao Miyazaki wrote and directed the short film for the song as a side-project after having writer's block with Princess Mononoke. The anime music video is non-linear, providing multiple reiterations and alternate scenes to depict the events. The music video added sound effects to the audio track, but contains no dialogue. Miyazaki purposely misinterpreted the lyrics to present his vision of a world where the surface becomes inhospitable and humans live in an underground city. He made the video cryptic to evoke creative interpretations among viewers.

Toshio Suzuki (producer) Japanese producer

Toshio Suzuki is a film producer of anime and a long-time colleague of Hayao Miyazaki, as well as the former president of Studio Ghibli. Suzuki is renowned as one of Japan's most successful producers after the enormous box office success of many Ghibli films.

<i>Howls Moving Castle</i> (film) 2004 Japanese animated film by Hayao Miyazaki

Howl's Moving Castle is a 2004 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The film is loosely based on the 1986 novel of the same name by British author Diana Wynne Jones. The film was produced by Toshio Suzuki, animated by Studio Ghibli and distributed by Toho. The Japanese voice cast featured Chieko Baisho and Takuya Kimura, while the English dub version starred Jean Simmons, Emily Mortimer, Lauren Bacall, Christian Bale, Josh Hutcherson and Billy Crystal.

<i>Mizugumo Monmon</i> 2006 Japanese animated short film

Mizugumo Monmon is a fifteen-minute Japanese animated short film released on January 3, 2006. It was produced and directed by Hayao Miyazaki for anime production house Studio Ghibli. It can be seen at the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan.

<i>The Snow Queen</i> (1957 film) 1957 film

The Snow Queen is a 1957 Soviet animated musical fantasy film directed by Lev Atamanov. It was produced by Soyuzmultfilm and is based on the 1844 story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. The film is one of the first cinematic adaptations of the Scandinavian Danish fable ever since the story was written by Andersen in New Fairy Tales. First Volume. Second Collection (1844). The film was the ninth full-length animated film from studio Soyuzmultfilm.

<i>Ponyo</i> 2008 Japanese animated film

Ponyo is a 2008 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, animated by Studio Ghibli for the Nippon Television Network, Dentsu, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Mitsubishi, and distributed by Toho. The film stars Yuria Nara, Hiroki Doi, Tomoko Yamaguchi, Kazushige Nagashima, Yūki Amami, George Tokoro, Rumi Hiiragi, Akiko Yano, Kazuko Yoshiyuki and Tomoko Naraoka. It is the eighth film Miyazaki directed for Studio Ghibli, and his tenth overall. The film tells the story of Ponyo (Nara), a goldfish who escapes from the ocean and is rescued by a five-year-old human boy, Sōsuke (Doi) after she is washed ashore while trapped in a glass jar. As they bond with each other, the story deals with resolving Ponyo's desire to become a human girl, against the devastating circumstances brought about by her acquisition and use of magic.

Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Hiromasa Yonebayashi, nicknamed Maro (麻呂), is a Japanese animator and director, formerly for Studio Ghibli. After his directorial debut with Studio Ghibli, he became the youngest director of a theatrical film produced by the studio. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2015 for his second film, When Marnie Was There.

Short films by Studio Ghibli Short films by Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation film studio founded in 1985. In addition to producing 18 feature films, the studio has produced several short films, including commercials, films for the Ghibli Museum, music videos, and works released directly to video.

<i>The Wind Rises</i> 2013 Japanese animated film

The Wind Rises is a 2013 Japanese animated historical drama film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, animated by Studio Ghibli for the Nippon Television Network, Dentsu, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, Walt Disney Japan, Mitsubishi, Toho and KDDI and distributed by Toho. It was released on 20 July 2013, in Japan, and was released by Touchstone Pictures in North America on 21 February 2014.

Michiyo Yasuda was an animator and colour designer who worked for Toei Animation, A Production, Nippon Animation, Topcraft, and Studio Ghibli. Her designs were used by directors such as Isao Takahata, Hayao Miyazaki and Mamoru Oshii. During a career spanning five decades in the animation industry, she worked on animated feature films and short films for theatrical release, original video animation (OVA), promotional music videos, animated television series, documentaries and commercials. Yasuda provided the colour designs for Miyazaki's Academy Award winning animated film Spirited Away. She officially retired after working on Ponyo in 2008, but worked on the Academy Award nominated animated feature The Wind Rises, released in July 2013.

Makiko Futaki was a Japanese animator best known for her contributions to Studio Ghibli on films such as My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Princess Mononoke (1997), and Spirited Away (2001). She is also known for her role as a key animator on the cult classic film, Akira (1988), and her early work with studio Gainax on Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (1987). Hayao Miyazaki, the founder of Studio Ghibli, praised her talents as an artist calling her both a valuable asset and someone he can trust to execute his vision. She died on May 13, 2016 due to an unknown illness at a Tokyo hospital.

<i>Boro the Caterpillar</i> 2018 Japanese animated short film

Kemushi no Boro is a 2018 Japanese animated short film by Hayao Miyazaki made for the Ghibli Museum. It premiered at the museum on March 21, 2018.

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