Tsunderin: Outside of Princess Mononoke it’s clear that Spirited Away leads the pack of most well-loved Ghibli films in America. Certainly with an Academy Award and several other honors to its name, the impact of this film upon animation as a serious genre in filmmaking on an international level cannot be ignored. But on a slightly less foundation-shaking level, the film is just plain enjoyable to watch. So much so that I don’t think I know one person who hasn’t seen the film or at least knows the story on some level, even among my non-anime watching compatriots.
Tsunderin: After the confusing, unemotional mess that was Nausicaa and with a whole roster of films now under his belt, Miyazaki decided to try his hand at another, more ‘user friendly’ environmental film—which was probably needed more than ever due to Pom Poko. Indeed, the ten year hiatus of sorts was beneficial because it helped Miyazaki learn to zero in on his message, bring it out, and not hit people over the head with it. For these reasons, as well as the gorgeous art, Princess Mononoke is considered a masterpiece, even transcending the cultural barrier—Mononoke is much more Japanese in feel than, say, Porco Rosso or even Nausicaa—so much so that it’s even gotten its own musical. But what is it about Mononoke that has captured so much of the world?
When it comes to geeks trying to save the planet, things can get complicated. It either tends to be really heavy-handed and naïve or to demonize anything involving saving the planet.
The big conflict is often between saving the environment and the march of progress, and many stories tend to proclaim one as good while demonizing the other, which is obviously problematic.
According to Crunchyroll and a number of other outlets, the classic Studio Ghibli film Princess Mononoke is being adapted for the stage in London by the Whole Hog Theatre company. In keeping with the ecological themes of the movie, the puppets used to portray the various nature deities will be made of recycled material. Although I’ve pointed out my opinion on the use of puppets in theatre before, hope springs eternal. If I had some way to get to London to see this next April, I’d be all over that.