Animated Mythology (Part 3)

Still shot from Princess Mononoke, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, 1997.
Still shot from Princess Mononoke, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, 1997.

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.

Still shot from Princess Mononoke, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, 1997.
Still shot from Princess Mononoke, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, 1997.

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.

Still shot from Princess Mononoke, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, 1997.
Still shot from Princess Mononoke, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, 1997.

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.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s