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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday -- Princess Mononoke

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September 19, 2008

Movie Review Friday -- Princess Mononoke

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Friday selections. Each week we review a film with environmentally or socially-responsible themes that’s currently in theaters or available on DVD.

Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a review of 100 words or less and look for your review in the next Movie Friday!

Princess Mononoke (1997)

Available on DVD

Hayao Miyazaki's animated Princess Mononoke gives the classic human-versus-nature theme a phantasmagoric spin with a Samurai warrior, larger-than-life wolves, forest spirits and firearms. Don't expect the 90 minutes of sugary song, dance and adorable animals found in so many of Disney's animated  features, because for Miyazaki--and his characters--the lines between good and evil, right and wrong, natural and spiritual are not clearly defined. In the haunting world of Princess Mononoke, forest animals, gods and humans search for their place in a constantly shifting reality. The film is both beautiful and violent as Miyazaki's creatures and worlds collide with the broader themes of human nature, survival and morality.

Known for meticulous animation and a minimal use of computers and graphic technology, Miyazaki and his animation studio, Studio Ghibli, have produced inventive stories and characters reminiscent of such authors as Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and Johnathan Swift. As film critic A.O. Scott wrote in the New York Times, "Mr. Miyazaki is both an extravagant fantasist and an exacting naturalist; as a storyteller, he is an inventor of fables that seem at once utterly new and almost unspeakably ancient."

--Review by Hannah Buoye

Read more movie reviews with environmental themes:
Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery
Nim's Island
Grand Canyon Adventure
Up the Yangtze

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