Princess Mononoke : LUSENET : Aeon Flux : One Thread

I live in NewZealand and I saw Princess Mononoke some time early last year. It was showing at some theater I never heard of, miles away from anything. My seeing the film was simply the result of good luck, I didnt know anything about it. Any publicity it may have recieved over here in Auckland must have been next to nothing, I know one person whos seen it, one person dammit. Ive heard nothing of Princess Mononoke since, no video stores have it or know anything about it. I dont know how big this flick was overseas but my question is was it? Is this the kind of movie every one should see? Or at least every anime fan should see? "Well, yes" Right!!! So, is it treated like the masterpiece it is, because it simply is not here. It fields Hollywood voice talent for christ sake surely that'd get it in some magzines....or something.

-- Sam (, April 06, 2002


I often wonder if the larger film companies don't block these independent films. You know I've often thought if I won the lottery I'd put up the money to have an Aeon Flux movie made. I'd go right on this site and say, 'Peter if your interested, go for it!' Of course I'd leave it all up to him and then we'd really get a great film. Top that dream, Lynch.

-- Barb e. (, April 11, 2002.

Yeah, tell me about it. While I didn't think the voice acting was all that great despite the Hollywood talent, you'd think that would help the film a little. But it was released here, about two or three years ago I think, with nary a word. Just like Vampire Hunter D, and Metropolis which also saw a very limited theatrical release in New York City at least (I don't know about the rest of the country) you really have to have your ear to the ground if you want to catch all these great movies in the theater. The odd thing about Princess Mononoke (and all Ghibli films) is that Disney owns the distribution rights in America under the Miramaz label, but they refuse to publicize the films' release. The same is true for the other Ghibli films that were released here, My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service. You hear practically nothing about them. On the bright side though, even if we miss them in the theater, in theory we should still be getting them on VHS and DVD with a very professional transfer. I don't know what New Zealand's situation regarding who owns the distribution rights, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was Miramax, so you're probably in the same situation we are. Go to this site to learn more about all things Ghibli and the sordid world that is movie distribution rights.

-- Logo (, April 06, 2002.

Cheers there Logo, great site.

Im just gonna import the vhs some time. Then ill make money by screening it publicly at my house and charging for admission.

-- Sam (, April 07, 2002.

You're kidding right?

-- Logo (, April 07, 2002.


Ill hire a venue of course.

-- Sam (, April 08, 2002.


-- Inu (, April 09, 2002.

Princess Mononoke isn't an independant film. It was made by the premier animation studio in Japan and was Japan's second highest grossing film of all time (I think it might have slipped since then). It is however, a FOREIGN film and for that reason, as well as its sophisticated story, which I think many Americans would find conflicts with the fact that it is animation, did not receive a wide release.

To be honest though, as great film as it was, it was probably my least favorite Ghibli film. It was just a little too long, it lacked the charm of past Ghibli films, and I felt the ending was kind of unsatisfactory. The topics covered in the film were pretty monumental so I didn't expect complete resolution, but it just seemd to lack closure. On the other hand, one of Studio Ghibli's earliest films, 'Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind,' covered a lot of the same intellectual ground, and was very serious as well, but it wasn't as dark. I'd be interested to hear how other people who have seen both films compare the two.

-- Logo (, April 11, 2002.

Well Ill be, my video store finally got it in, dvd only though. Mabey the first Ghibli film to hit NZ rental, even my parents were taken by Princess Mononoke, quite accesible really. I do so want to see more of this guys work but feel very reluctant towards buying imports ive never watched. On the plus side Auckland has just been benifited by the opening of NZ's first ever Manga Cafe. Hence my reading of all the Akiras, because every one should read those!!! However even this place, by law apparently, is forced, like the rest of this country, to lack many 'need to see anime' including: Grave of the fire flies, Utena, Gin-roh, Kite, a heck of a lot by by Ghibli. I dont know how Aeon Flux ever made it to our screens.

-- Sam (, September 05, 2002.

You kiwis shouldn't complain. You get to live in middle earth and chase hobbits for sport.

Seriously though, you'd think you'd have an easier time getting decent anime in NZ since you're so much closer to the source. And for what it's worth I have yet to see an anime cafe anywhere in New York City. Maybe they have some San Francisco.

Oh, and for us Americans, I hear that Studio Ghibli's latest film "Spirited Away" is comming out in select theaters sometime soon, so keep an eye open and and ear to the ground or you'll probably miss it.

-- Logo (, September 05, 2002.

Actually all my dvds are anime except for LOTR which my parents gave me.

-- Sam (, September 06, 2002.

The only reason Disney's even releasing Ghibli films in the first place is because they're OBLIGATED to. Disney's very often attempted to imitate Ghibli, and one movie just got a little too close: Lion King was practically plagiarized from a particular Ghibli film (the name escapes me at the moment). So Ghibli got legal on their punk asses, and made the release of all Ghibli movies in the US one of their stipulations. I wouldn't doubt they're reluctant about making that well-known.

In terms of Ghibli movies, though, I wouldn't say Mononoke Hime is my favorite of theirs. Even though I'm still a bit uneducated about the works of Miyazaki (the director of the Ghibli productions, who is hailed as one of the best of all time), some of his works are definetely my favorites: My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, and Spirited Away (his most recent work) are all utterly fantastic.

As somebody mentioned earlier, Grave of the Fireflies, Jin-Roh, and Shoujo Kakumei Utena are also three fantastic anime movies, as well as the Rurouni Kenshin OVAs.

-- Brian Davis (, September 06, 2002.

I don't know where you got you're information, but it's completely wrong. First of all, despite whatever similarities there may have been between The Lion King and Kimba the White Lion, it wouldn't matter since we're talking about two different countries. Second of all, any company in the entertainment business with half a brain should be fighting hand over fist for Ghibli movie distribution rights since they are consistently the top grossing movies in Japan. It's just sound business sense and has nothing to do with Ghibli taking Disney to the cleaners in a lawsuit. I mean, Ghibli produces some nice movies and all, but Disney is a freakin world empire. There is no way they would lose in a court battle like that.

That being said though, Disney was pretty stupid in its marketing of Princess Mononoke and I hear they probably won't be distributing anymore Ghibli films in this country because of the poor sales of that movie.

-- Logo (, September 06, 2002.


-- Brian Davis (, September 06, 2002.

Studio Ghibli's latest film "Spirited Away" came out in theaters today and, as usual, it's a modern-day masterpiece. Somewhere between the lighthearted adventure of Totoro and the moral gravitas of Princes Mononoke it has it's serious moments, but is usually very adventuresome and comedic. You see the world of the gods through the heroin's eyes and learn about how things work there as she makes mistakes. The version I saw was subtitled even though Miramax has enlisted some A-list talent for the dub, but even if I had seen it without subtitles my enjoyment wouldn't have diminished because of its visual splendor. It's bright and colorful, full of hundreds of weird looking characters often all on screen at once, and the animation quality is superb. The size and weight (or lack thereof) of the characters is portrayed so convincingly, and their mannerisms and physical interactions with the world around them are so exact that you can't help but marvel at what the animators have achieved. Plotwise the movie is great but there are plenty of online reviews that cover that. I will say that even though I enjoyed the movie immensely I kinda felt that there was a deeper meaning to it that I was missing because it is so steeped in japanese culture and mythology. From what I've heard though, some of the visual references in the movie are so arcane that many modern japanese won't even get them. So needless to say I love the movie and I'd like to hear what other people thought about it. Now if only Disney would hurry up and release all the other Ghibli films on DVD we'd be that much closer to a perfect world.

-- Logo (, September 21, 2002.

Oh man, I know im gonna have to wait a long time for this.

-- Sam (, September 23, 2002.

Spirited Away was simply incredible.

I don't have much to say beyond that, and I really don't need to as the movie speaks for itself. Go see it. :)

-- Brian Davis (, September 24, 2002.

Well, Ive been frequenting the Manga cafe enough. One of the guys who works their told me a lot about how Manga go's down in Japan. He also told me that Miyazaki now means for all his new work to be much more 'serious' than ever before, this being a vague interpretation of an alleged statement he apparently made. I cant compare having only seen one of his films, although read much praise of about near all his films. Is it true enough? I was suprised to hear Mononoke Hime described as 'dark', so by comparison how dark? Was Spirited Away 'serious' like never before? You see, from what Im told Manga is on most accounts, light hearted enough for people to read it quietly while they eat at the same time, in Japan that is apparently how it often happens. Whats Kimba the White Lion like?

-- Sam (, September 24, 2002.

I thought Mononoke was much darker than Miyazaki's other films. Even Nausicaa, which presented much the same environmental issues against the backdrop of war, seemed more light-hearted by comparison. All Miyazaki's movies have characters that grow and teach you something as they grow, but are usually more playful than Mononoke. Spirited away was more of a return to his playful movies like Kiki, I thought.

I don't know what manga you're reading, but it's probably just a very small percentage of what's out there. Manga has as many genres as normal books do. But Spirited Away is a movie, not manga, so I don't know what one thing has to do with another.

-- Logo (, September 25, 2002.

Well as far as Manga 'Im' reading goes, it's mostly all Otomo. I merely make clumsy attempts at relaying what I was told by someone who is far more involved than I, only not so fluent in English.

-- Sam (, September 26, 2002.

I need to make myself clearer here. From what I can gather, with Manga and Anime, it's probable that a fan of one ends up a fan of, or at least checks out, the other. There do seem to be a lot of bridges to draw interests between the two. Especially with highly successful things like DBZ, Pokemon, Street Fighter, Akira, Ghost in The Shell, Nausicaa, etc. As well as writers in common, similar styles, content, visuals, etc. With such a likely merging of target audiences, I'm sure both Industries have a lot of influence from and over each other.

I know I haven't read or seen enough to form any kind of fair opinion about the inherent aspects common throughout main stream Manga and Anime. But I have been informed that Miyazaki, with his current state of popularity, means for his work to become "more serious". Perhaps this would be a progression from whatever main stream is in Japan. Maybe, he means to address serious worldly issues in his work. I don't know if he always has. If he always has, maybe he means to go about it more seriously. Or maybe by more serious, he means more serious than other animated works that fall into the same genre, if he has one?

New York Times called Princess Mononoke "the Star Wars of Animated features". I'm not really sure why. Opinions?

-- Sam (, October 09, 2002.

With the latest tripe that George Lucas has been churning out, calling Mononoke the Star Wars of animation seems like more of an insult. Seriously though, maybe the reviewer was referring to the scope of Mononoke, though to be honest I think it had a lot more depth and emotional complexity than Star Wars. Barring Darth Vadar's quick repentance at the end, the Star Wars trilogy was pretty black and white as far as good and evil are concerned, whereas Mononoke had no real evil characters ('cept one).

As for the manga-anime connection, it's so obvious it doesn't require any discussion. When I said "I don't know what one thing has to do with another" in my previous post, I was referring to the fact that in your previous post you asked if Spirited Away was serious and then right away start talking about manga as if they are one and the same. It may very well be a manga at this point, but I was referring to the movie.

As for your report on Miyazaki's plans to be more serious in the future, I'm not sure what that means. I've seen most if not all of the Studio Ghibli films and they all deal with serious issues like war, environmentalism, responsibility, growing up and fitting in, etc. But I think one of the things that makes Ghibli's movies so great is that you're not beaten over the head with the point the movie is trying to make. The message is allowed to sink in slowly over the course of the movie as you get involved with the characters and the story. I for one prefer the more lighthearted Ghibli films because I love the humor in them. I hope Miyazaki isn't getting too pessimistic in his old age.

-- Logo (, October 10, 2002.

Good god!! Your quite right,(about the connection thing) sorry. I must be in essay mode because of bursary english, or something. With that initial post I was simply trying to structure what I was saying in a way that corresponded to the way the guy at the M_cafe told it to me. I didnt really know exactly what it all entailed so I was hoping some one with a with a knowledge of Miyazaki films might be able to see a correlation or what not. Man, my communication issues are soo long running. Im an idiot and must shut up........... NOW

-- Sam (, October 10, 2002.

I didnt know Denise Poirier did a voice on Princess Mononoke. Who did?...Every one right? +_+

-- Sam (, October 13, 2002.

Oh My God! u guys have no idea how happy iam to know of people who seem to enjoy princess mononoke and other mizaki films. it's very reassuring. so now i know im not a total loner in this situation. How many people have seen spirited away? Everyone should go to see that movie. it was great!so.....yeah! u guys r cool! bye!

-- joetta mishuturo (, April 12, 2003.

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