So I might as well get my confession over with. I’m a fan of Hayao Miyazaki, and he is one of the sources I go to when I need to recharge my creative battery. I could go overboard writing about his body of work. Instead, I will mention one more of his animated features before moving on to the works of two other animators in upcoming posts.
I found Princess Mononoke to be an interesting and sometimes visually disturbing story. Aside from depicted decapitations and dismemberments, this illustrious director once again combined spiritual and ecological themes. In support of this, Miyazaki (as usual) really gets sky, wind, motion, and landscape right, and they seem to become subtle characters in his story. Combined with excellent sound (another consistent trait), these features helped to achieve an atmospheric feel conducive to the aforementioned themes. Throw in some complicated and nuanced characters, and you have some of the essential elements of good storytelling.
What stayed with me most, however, was the great forest spirit (or nightwalker). This was, for me, a truly interesting visual conception, and I liked the redemptive and restorative aspects of this character. It truly elevated the plot. Getting back to the idea of recharging my own creative battery, this is the kind of artistic product I like to view (or read) because it stimulates my imagination for the kinds of stories I myself want to write.