Princess Mononoke ★★★★½

Heads and arms fly in Hayao Miyazaki’s bloody departure from all things fluffy and innocent, arrow-speed editing achieving heights of action coverage no live-action film could possibly produce. Although its fantasy focus on Japanese folklore might be tiring for some, it’s the allegory underneath that pulls Princess Mononoke out of the mythical sludge. Serving as one of the finest animated commentaries on our impact on the environment, Miyazaki plays the human demand for resources against the vengeful weight of nature, the outcome being an overwhelmingly creative animation with the broadest possible scope. This is essentially The Lord of the Rings morphed into Anime, and I have so much envy for those who were lucky enough to experience it as a kid.

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