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Man Vs. The Forest

September 29, 2010

“Princess Mononoke” is a movie by Studio Ghibli, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It’s not particularly a “family-move”, as there is a little profanity and LOTS of blood and violence. But, the best way to describe this movie (in my opinion) is that it’s a Japanese version of the movie, “FernGully”. :-p

Miyazaki has a love for nature and often put into his films the themes of taking care of forests and lakes. This film is set in the Muromachi period of Japan and concentrates solely on the struggles between man and nature. It’s a story of supernatural guardians of the forests in a war with the humans who insist on consuming the forests resources. It’s very in depth, in it’s plot and the moral of the story.

Also, of course, there a plenty of creatures in this story that are highly fascinating. It would not be a Miyazaki film, without a strange creature or two! ;-)

I do love the Forest Spirit, which is a god with the power to give life or to give death. During the night, he is called the “Nightwalker” (seen in the picture above), and he changes into the shape of night. And during the day, his appearance is that of a great elk with a human-like face.

On a cuter side of things, I also love the tree sprites, called “Kodama”. They help guide the main hero of the story, Ashitaka, through the forests. They are the cutest little creatures ever!

There are thousands of Kodamas in any given forest and they are a sign that a forest is healthy. These creatures can appear and disappear at will. But some people find them intimidating, even though they are a lot friendly. The Kodamas have a deep reverence for the Forest Spirit.

This movie is a lot interesting, entertaining, and reminds us all to be more caring and respectful toward nature. :-)

-D

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