Young warrior Ashitaka receives a wound that refuses to heal in a battle with a cursed beast. Searching for a remedy for the supernatural injury, he leaves his remote village for the forbidding forests of the west, where he finds a human enclave under siege from divine powers: deities of times past, the wolf gods, and San, a wild girl of the forest.
Hayao Miyazaki's masterpiece depicts the clash between the natural world and its old gods, and the rise of humans and the beginnings of modern civilisation. It shows three elements of the Japanese psyche warring for supremacy in an epic ecological fable of stirring mythic power.
The first of Miyazaki's films to gain mainstream attention in the West, Princess Mononoke features an English-language script by Neil Gaiman, author of Anansi Boys and American Gods, and vocal performances from Claire Danes, Minnie Driver, Billy Crudup and Gillian Anderson.
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This film is absolutely brilliant, from start to finish its animated incredibly well. I watched this for the first time round at a friends house and even with a room full of nattering people its engrosing. If you've steered clear of anime for any reason, I sincerely hope you give this a go. As with some voice actors like Gillian Anderson, Billy Bob Thornton, Minnie Driver and Claire Danes, the transition from Japanese to English hasn't taken anything away from the story or the film.
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