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Overall rating: 5/5
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Tagline:Mythic, visionary brilliance a classic in handy animated format
The Film: This is a work of epic myth unlike any other. Hayao Miyazaki is the recognized god of anime, and here he takes his imagination on a full romp that touches on familiar themes – loving nature, the heroic quest – in unfamiliar ways. The story is unpredictable, the characters are well-rounded, and there are no bad guys – everyone has their motivations and nobility, with no pat answers. Perhaps too intense for young children (not all cartoons are for kids, kids), this film is more intelligent and compelling than 95 percent of
the live-action stuff out there.
The DVD: In widescreen (1:85:1) and Dolby 5.1 Surround, the film is beautifully presented. Bonus features include a featurette done in America, talking to some of the voice actors about why they love the film. Not as interesting as an interview with Miyazaki would’ve been. Best, though, is the choices of English dub or original Japanese soundtrack. Subtitle choices include a direct translation of Japanese or the text of Neil Gaiman’s faithful,
Easter Eggs: None.
Five Degrees of Seperation
Spirited Away — Miyazaki’s latest is the only thing that tops Mononoke.
My Neighbor Totoro — Miyazaki’s sweet, fun fable
Ladyhawke — It’s cute, It’s heartwarming, It’s for the 13-year-old
girl in all of us.
The Princess Bride — It will smite you with heavenly force.
Labrynth — Dark mythic fun, with a teenaged Jennifer Connelly and a pointy-eared David Bowie.