Princess Mononoke – Mononoke Hime – EL Trailer [re-edit]
A little over 10 years ago Hayao Miyazaki produced through his company, Studio Ghibli, what is – alongside his other great work, Spirited Away, and Katsuhiro Ôtomo’s gargantuan Akira – arguably the most influential and important animated movie to come from Japan.
The story is jidaigeki – a period drama. It set in late Muromachi period of Japan, and tells of the struggle between the spirit guardians of a forest and the humans who destroy it and consume its resources from the perspective of the outsider Ashitaka.
The English transliteration of the title is somewhat misleading and possibly a mistake. Because Mononoke Hime was transliterated as it was, few realise that “Mononoke” isn’t a name. Mononoke is in fact a Japanese word meaning spirit. Thus the title more accurately transliterates as The Spirit Princess.
When the film was bought for western distribution by Disney and Miramax, the actual release and subsequent DVD production was hideously botched. Even though the voice-over artists hired for the English language dub were all A-list, it received little publicity for a very limited release. Nevertheless, it achieved cult status quickly and remains a favourite of anime and arthouse film fans, and is seen even in mainstream circles as a metaphor for modern climatic problems faced by the world today.