VIDEO: Princess Mononoke (1997)

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Sofie nears the finish line of Miyazaki March with one of the crown jewels of Miyazaki’s career.

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Tag: Movie Dorkness: Miyazaki March

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  • Gallen_Dugall

    Interesting. What I took away was less “neither side is right or wrong” and more “both sides are wrong”

    • Zee Panda

      This is the impression I was left with, too. I didn’t think either side was villainous, exactly, but I did think they both wrong

    • Mike

      And yet it wasn’t as if both side were entirely wrong either. The problem for the hero is that he is trying to bring the peace, but still has to fight to make it happen since he can’t find an easy way for both sides to settle there differences. Now he expect there to be a simple solution because both sides have good reason to be worried about there own communities future and both side have suffered casualties from the other. Regardless of how started it, old wounds die hard. Which made it to me that while the endings if hopefully and one of peace, it doesn’t leave you with the impression has been totally resolved.

    • Sofie Liv

      Well, if you think about it… What else would you have either of them do?

      The Samurais are clearly no joke, and Boshida has only ever known a world where she has to defend herself and the people around her, or they will die.
      If they don’t have the iron they dig out of the forest, then how are they even supposed to life? They don’t have to possibility to just be a hidden remote village like Ishitakas village.
      The reason why she goes after the deer gods head by the end, is because if she don’t her village will get attacked by a much larger out-side force.

      And what would you have the forest spirits do? Their freaking home is getting destroyed and every-thing they hold dear.

      The only way this could ever have worked, would have been if Boshida from day one had walked to the forest, and asked if she and her people could life in harmony with it, like Shen.. Though that would mean they would have to life very differently than they do in the movie. They would have to life more like Ishitakas village, and the forest spirits would HAVE to agree to protect them, because if these people were to life like Ishitakas village, they would be very unable to protect themselves the way they needed to survive.

      It’s a much more complex situation than it seems, which I can only give the movie credit for.
      war is tragedy, but neither is it simple. It’s few movies able to show that probably, this is one of the very few movies able to.

      • Gallen_Dugall

        Yes, but I grew up during the cold war with teachers and the mainstream media telling me every day that it didn’t matter how hard I worked or how well I did because we were all going to die in a nuclear war. We didn’t. I’ve since developed a knee-jerk rejection of that sort of dark fatalistic view, and I believe that there is always a path towards a better future. It may be a very hard path, but anyone who says otherwise strikes me as having an agenda. Because of my personal views I took a dim view of this one. I was able to appreciate it for what it was but not truly enjoy it. It just pushed all my buttons to tick me off.

        • Sofie Liv

          Well, I am not saying there is no path for them.

          But it would reqiure for both sides to sit down and talk, and agree to the terms.. possible, but unlikely in the setting of the movie.

          It is thoughs, Ishitakas message to them, he keeps shouting. “Why can’t you just life in harmony? Why can’t you talk?”

          And truly, if both parts had chosen to do that at any-time in the movie.

          Forget the past, forget the hate, and work together as a unity for the benefit of both.. it could all have been avoided, all of it.

          But both sides are to much caught up in their current emotions and view points that they are unable to see the larger picture, unlike Ishitaka.

          They are both simply acting… very human, and very angry. And I don’t think the movie is condemming either for being human and emotional.

          But it also states.. if you do that. If you don’t look for a more peaceful alternative, this will be the price. You’ll destroy some-thing beautiful, and the new world will be different.

          I can’t remember the cold war, but I am definetely a product of the 9/11 tragedy.

          And that also created a world based upon fear, where people have done a lot of awful things, only due to this irrational fear, unable to sit down and talk.

          So I do recognise the themes of the movies to implie to our current world.. and.. it’s sad, it’s a tragedy. It’s awful that we as a human race are apparently unable to just, life in harmony with each other, and work together.
          Unfortunately we havn’t reached Gene Roddenberrys utopia yet.. I don’t like it, but I have to acknowledge that that is how it is right now, and has been for as long as human kind can remember.

          • Gallen_Dugall

            True, true, and how much harder is it to even being talking about common ground and compromise once the political demonization of the “other” has begun.

  • MichaelANovelli

    I will say this: this movie has one of my favorite film romances. ^_^

    • John Wilson

      Really, why?

      • MichaelANovelli

        There’s just a sweetness to it. Plus, I believe all great relationships should begin with one party trying to murder the other. ^_^

        • Muthsarah

          Run, Questions! RUN!!!

          Or, better yet, strike first!

          • Sofie Liv

            Personally, I just think she should break up with him all-ready and stick to me.

            I’ll cook her nice food, create a romantic setting and cover her with kissis.

          • Muthsarah



            Go ooon…..


          • MichaelANovelli

            Sorry. My other girlfriend and I refuse to let her go. So, get your own Russkie!

          • Sofie Liv

            That sounds like a hostage situation to me.

            Well then, I shall put on my white armour and red cape. And equip my sword to rescue the most adorable Russian-American I have ever laid eyes on.

          • MichaelANovelli

            Yeesh, it’s getting to the point where if I ever saw you smoking or wearing sunglasses I’d think it was Single White Female, or something…

          • danbreunig

            And *that* sounds like a come-on for yet another tangle with a particular Mirror character.

          • MichaelANovelli

            So, it’s true! Sofie’s the Metal Murder Man from my dreams!

          • danbreunig

            The Scarlet Defender returns!

          • FullofQuestions1

            You have clearly never seen Mila Kunis.

          • MichaelANovelli

            I have! But, I’ll take you any day! ^_^

          • FullofQuestions1

            Oh, don’t worry. I intend to try and bore him to death by showing him Solaris.

          • MichaelANovelli

            You don’t have the guts!

  • John Wilson

    Alright everyone, hold on to your butts. I’m about to say why I think “Princess Mononoke” is a ok at best movie and why “The lost world of Jurassic park” is a much better movie. Warning:might not make sense for certain people

    Ok, first I’m going to say what is wrong with the main charators in “Princess Mononoke”(and most Miyazaki movies if I remember right) is that they are very one dimensional. They don’t really change or mature. Ashiaka(I’m calling him Ash) Changes from a good main boy to… a good main boy . His attitude doesn’t change, he doesn’t really learn anything. The same with San, she does change, but its only barely and due to a boy she hasn’t met before(like many tween female love stories). I think its very telling about San not forgiving at the end vs “Lost world” forgiveness for John Hammond.

    In “Lost World” the main charators do change a lot. Malcom goes from being a bachelor who doesn’t care about kids or family, to a man who saved his daughter and understands the importance of family. Sarah learns initiative as she shoots the T rex at the end.

    The Jungle in “Lost world” is much more interesting then the one in “Mononoke”. In “Mononoke” there barely a look at one of the trues of nature. Survival, Natural is fine until “man” steps in. In “Lost world” Nature is shown to be a dangerous place that doesn’t care for the “good guys”. But it also says we should respect it,and it shows beauty in this.

    I think the most important part of(and is a beauty that Mononoke can barely understand) this is the Dinosaurs in Jurassic park. They were not natural beings, basically zombies from another era. But nature took them in. This shows the forgiving side of nature. I think the last line in “Lost world” is one of the greatest of all time, “Life will find a way” This was said by Hammond,who in the previous movie, would not have thought the line. But he realized who man was in the role of nature and was forgiven by nature by having his creation live by nature.

    Hope I gave my opinion well enough:)

    • Sofie Liv

      I think in the case of Monoke it’s much more about the world changes and the affect of their war and conflicts than it’s about the characters changing.

      San does not change no, by the end she still hates humans, because of what they did.. they effectively turned her away from the human race forever.. because they killed every-thing she held dear, so who can really blame her.

      Boshido does learn a bit, she learns that maybe it’s worth being a bit more in harmony with the forest as she rebuilds.
      She is still going to rebuild though, and people are still under her sole protection in a extremely hostile world, which forces her to be on her guard all the time as well.

      All of these bigger ideas are so big and complex, that Ishitaka needs to be a simple character, he is the single one neutral person in all of this, able to see the events unfold with eyes “Unclouded.”
      And that’s how we the audience are supposed to see the movie, through his unclouded eyes, so the conseqences, and the reasons for the war lays clear in front of us to observe and take in.

      No, it’s not the greatest character piece ever out there.
      For character pieces, i’ll say My Neighbour Totoro and Howls moving castle are better places to look.

      But it is done so the movie can focus on the much larger aspects and the much larger pictures of war, and I appreciate that…. I don’t even begin to phantom how you can compare it to. “The Lost world.”

      Not because either are bad movies, but just because… They are two so god damn different kind of movies trying to convey two VERY different things!

      The Lost world has a kind of enviromental message to it, but that’s not what Monoke is about, it’s about conflict and war, some-thing else entirely.. so yeah.. can’t see how you could even begin to compare.

      Rather! people should just watch both of them! That’s a good plan if you ask me! ^^

      • John Wilson

        I picked “Lost world” because it came out the same year and it also feature the theme of “Man vs nature” another movie I was thinking of comparing to was ” The postman” because but I thought “Lost world” was closer.

        Both movies do contain a group of nature friendly people vs a group of people that want to take over nature vs nature itself. And a big part of fantasy to me is maturity, all great fantasy stories have themes of maturity. Its shows how you can grow from the events in your life. And I feel while having San not forgive the humans at the end, while understandable, is just the director way of not having the main characters be together at the end. Which is fine but I feel like it goes against her learning about humans. If the director didn’t want them to get together at the end. He should have had her forgive the humans, but still has to learn more about them. And also say she not ready for a relationship(in the movie own way).

        This would have lead to good character growth and a sense of maturity. Rather then being back at stage one.

        But I look at movies differently then most people. So take whatever you want out of this. Its your P.O.V, not mine.

        • Sofie Liv

          Yeah they came out same year but were from two vastly different nations, I highly doubt that had any-thing at all to do with each other under production…

          And they are vastly, vaaaaastly different movies.. there’s no comparison, I don’t see it.. at all.

    • Mike

      “The Jungle in “Lost world” is much more interesting then the one in “Mononoke”. In “Mononoke” there barely a look at one of the trues of nature. Survival, Natural is fine until “man” steps in.”

      I find this to be a highly inaccurate assessment. Unlike most environmental tales in western animation, there’s no imagining the wild creatures (especially the wolves) in Monooke are anything but passive, cuddly creatures who are only the victims of man. It’s pretty obvious from the way the wolves are drawn and speak (particularly in the conversation one has alone with Ishitaka) that these creatures can and WILL kill!

      • Sofie Liv

        Not to forget the Ape spirits that talked about they wanted to hunt down the humans and EAT them.

        And then San exclaimed. “That’ll turn you into some-thing different! don’t do it!”

        … what kind of different? Some-thing that feast on human flesh? … eesh.

        Oh yeah, the wolfs will kill ANY human that comes to close to them! The only reason Ishitaka survived was because of the deer god, had the deer god not given him its blessing, he would have been so dead.

        Not to mention, that thing does not just give life.. don’t forget. It takes and gives life as it pleases! It’ll take your life if it makes the most sense to it to do that!
        And it did! It took the life of the bores and of the mother wolf, so yeah… survival of the fittest much?

        People should totally still take the time to see both movies <_<

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