Experiment 626 (which may, or may not be Stitch's real name) is an event embarked on by the I'm With Geek Film Team. Film knowledge was unearthed, truths were found and a DVD exchange took place. These are the true life stories from that experiment...
For Leah from Paul
Leah, the film I picked for you to watch is Princess Mononoke, the 1997 animated fantasy made by the great Hayao Miyazaki, the "Walt Disney of Japan".
1) I know you love animation, so that's a pretty easy swing. It's an opportunity to engage with the work of one of the true legends of animated film.
2) Princess Mononoke is one of the most acclaimed films in animation, and it will hopefully open the door to the rest of Miyazaki's canon.
3) Judging by your top five picks (not to mention your love of Harry Potter and Hunger Games), you enjoy a mix of intimate emotional connection and the epic sweep of new worlds.
4) The film is rich with thematic relevance and a mature stance that treats children with enough respect to believe they will understand and engage with big things. More than anything, I want to try and pull you away from the mainstream a little. At this point, you clearly have an idea about what you like, but it still seems to be set in a clear comfort zone of what is readily available without much digging. Mononoke is certainly still mainstream, but sits just outside of what seems to be your comfort zone.
If you like it, you can keep going, both of which I would really love. However, you should always be honest in what you think about these things
I’ve never seen any Japanese Anime film before so Paul is certainly right, Princess Mononoke was certainly outside of my known comfort zone. After my experience with this film I hope it will get me to start spreading my wings a bit in the future.
As the film was created in 1997 I’m not going to compare its animation quality to current day pieces as that would be unfair. However compared to other animation films released in 1997, namely Anastasia and Hercules, Princess Mononoke certainly is not behind the mark. Studio Ghibli have done a stunning job with the resources they had available. The fact that most of the film is hand-drawn and using traditional cel animation is astounding compared to stop-motion or CGI which is mostly used today.
Princess Mononoke centres around Ashitaka, the last remaining prince from the Emishi village. When he defeats a demon boar (later we find to be called Nago, a boar god) he is cursed by its touch and is sent into exile by the town’s oracle in order to have any hope of finding a cure. On his travels he comes across many important figures, key in figuring out how to stop the curse and how the god became a demon in the first place, including monk Jago, Lady Eboshi of Irontown and San (aka Princess Mononoke,) a girl who had been brought up from a baby by wolves. He then becomes involved in a battle to save the forest in which a Forest Spirit dwells. The story progresses as Lady Eboshi attempts to destroy the forest whilst the Gods that find refuge amongst the trees attempt to stop her.
I am extremely glad that Paul gave me Princess Mononoke to watch. It has given me the chance to open my eyes to films that I wouldn’t have even taken a second glance at and has taught me that you will most definitely be well rewarded if you search the film industry further than you already have. I hope that this experience pushes me to look outside of my comfort zone, (in fact, I'm sure it will,) and it has taught me a great deal about both my preferences and about areas of film I have not yet discovered.