TV Party Tonight! #43

TV Party Tonight! #43

Friday, 15 December 2017

Princess Mononoke [Blu-ray]

How does one pick their favorite Miyazaki movie? For anyone who’s a fan of animated movies, it’s easy to appreciate how his works are so grand, unique, and can go straight for the heart. Each one is so magical, so how do we distinguish and single out one as a favorite? Well, if this debate will get some of us to watch Miyazaki movies over and over again, then that’s a good thing. But for me the choice is easy.


Princess Mononoke is the clear favorite for me. And for many reasons… This movie just seems to have all the favorite Miyazaki elements we know and love including an additional ingredient we don’t always appreciate. More on that later.


Princess Mononoke looks gorgeous, has exciting pacing, immediately immerses us in a magical world, clearly defines the stakes, is full of complex and lovable characters, plays with the subtleties of good and evil, and refreshingly, goes for the absolute extreme in its storytelling. Our characters have different priorities and sometimes the obstacles might be too great to overcome. What can we do when we’ve tried our hardest against the odds, and still failed? These are just some of the themes explored in Princess Mononoke that make it a complex story that can truly be appreciated by both children and adults both in their hearts and minds.


And that secret ingredient in this movie that makes it stand above the rest: the plot is mostly linear. The rules aren’t redefined and we don’t discover any unexpected powers in our characters. There’s really no feeling here of being cheated, and that’s quite honestly something you can’t say for all Miyazaki movies.


Of course these are controversial statements, and quite honestly, I don’t know how I’ll feel about them in the future. But this just speaks to the greatness of Princess Mononoke. In a career of crown jewels, this one might just shine the brightest.

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