Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Hayao Miyazaki - Part Two
1997: Mononoke-Hime (Princess Mononoke)
Famous voices (in the dubbed version): Claire Danes, Minnie Driver, Billy Bob Thornton, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Thoughts: Supposedly it took Miyazaki 16 years to fully develop this story. But it all paid off, because at one time it was the highest grossing film in Japan. It also won several awards. This one also has themes about human impact on nature and also portrayed the military in a negative light. It was also, in my opinion, his most violent. This one wasn't my favorite (mainly because I had a hard time separating it from his lighter, more family-friendly tales), but I do remember enjoying it.
2001: Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away).
Famous voices (in the dubbed version): Daveigh Chase (Lilo of Lilo & Stitch), Susan Egan (Megara in Disney's Hercules)
Thoughts: My favorite! I'm not sure why I like this one the most, to be honest. I thought it was a story mostly about being brave, and I found myself really admiring the main character. I was also really fascinated by the traditional bath house. There was also the friendship between the other main character that I just found so endearing. This movie also takes place in a more realistic city as opposed to a fantastic land or countryside.
2004: Hauru no Ugoku Shiro (Howl's Moving Castle).
Famous voices (in the dubbed version): Christian Bale, Billy Crystal, Jena Malone, Lauren Bacall.
Thoughts: A romance! I think these are the oldest characters, as Sophie is supposed to be around 18. First of all, I LOVED the idea of a moving castle - genius! I also loved the character Calcifer and found him funny. I also loved the end of this film. I wasn't too keen on the villians in this one, but ah well. It also had a military element, like many of his other films.
2008: Gake no Ue no Ponyo (Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea).
Famous voices (in the dubbed version): Cate Blanchett, Liam Neeson, Tina Fey, Matt Damon.
Thoughts: This was DEFINITELY the prettiest! It had such amazing colors and textures. I also love the work they did with the water. I thought this one was the most geared for children. The plot, to me, was definitely not as cohesive and straightforward as his other works. I also really loved Ponyo's mother's character! It actually kind of struck me as a new take on The Little Mermaid. It wasn't my favorite, but it was very different from the other movies and I thought it was really cute and colorful.
Sources: Youtube, Wikipedia, International Movie Database.
P.S. I know I'm missing at least two of his other works, but I haven't seen them yet!