Mononoke-hime [Princess Mononoke] (1997)

(In theaters, December 1999) All things considered, a pretty good fantasy film marred both marred and bolstered with the typical qualities of anime. On one hand the visual inventiveness marks the film with stronger quirky individual scenes than the usual film. On the other, the often-jerky animation and other anime “tics” make it so that the film flows less smoothly than the standard Disney. The universe of Princess Mononoke is also presented as is, without any attempt at rationalization or structure. Don’t expect any kind of predictable logic; wacky solutions and features still pop up late in the film. Still, it’s an enjoyable fantasy for more mature viewers, and makes one wish for better material of this type.

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