Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her, but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.
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An old man makes a living by selling bamboo. One day, he finds a princess in a bamboo. The princess is only the size of a finger. Her name is Kaguya. When Kaguya grows up, 5 men from prestigious families propose to her. Kaguya asks the men to find memorable marriage gifts for her, but the 5 men are unable to find what Kaguya wants. Then, the Emperor of Japan proposes to her.Written by
Kaguya-hime's kimono's are decorated with stylized Japanese bamboo flowers. See more »
While the baby princess crawls to the cutter she tosses a piece of bamboo to the edge of the floor mat. In the reverse shot as she crawls back, it is missing. See more »
The Princess Kaguya:
Go round, come round, come round... come round, oh distant time. Come round, call back my heart. Come round, call back my heart. Birds, bugs, beasts, grass, trees, flowers. Teach me how to feel. If i hear that you pine for me, i will return to you.
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With the exception of the energetic The Lego Movie, this year has been a disappointment for the animated genre. What a relief then it is that Isao Takahata's (Grave of the Fireflies) new film is a triumphant success.
Based on a 10th century Japanese folktale, The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a bittersweet coming of age story. Our protagonist is Kaguya-hime who is discovered as a baby in a bamboo stalk by an old peasant man. He and his childless wife raise her as their own, providing the best they can as she rapidly ages. While her mother is fearful of change and just wants a comfortable life for her adopted daughter, her father envisions great things. He sees Kaguya as part of a divine plan and after fine clothes and gold come shooting out of bamboo stalks he concludes that the heavens want her to become a proper princess. He assumes this is the best way to make his daughter happy instead of asking her what she wants.
A sharply observed feminist critique of traditional Japanese culture as well as a cautionary tale of the burdens we place on our children, The Tale of Princess Kaguya has a wealth of complex themes and archetypes hidden beneath the surface of its fairly straight- forward story. This is one of the rare films that are both easily accessible to a young audience and one that film students can write thesis papers on.
The final word should be reserved for Studio Ghibli's animation. The style used invokes something between impressionist paintings and water-colours while employing a muted palette. Ghibli moves away from traditional anime and the results are breathtaking. The hand drawn frames could each stand alone as a portrait and yet the film feels fluid. At times the animation blurs into expressionism; the brush strokes matching the characters inner- turmoil.
Easily the best animated film of the year, it's a must see for fans of the genre. Luckily North America will get a theatrical release; the English-dubbed version will be out October 17 and will star Chloe Grace Moretz as Kaguya.
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