By Dennis Hartley
(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on December 6, 2014)
Princess Mononoke – Disney Blu-Ray
I think it’s fair to say that anime master Hayao Miyazaki and his cohorts at Studio Ghibli have consistently raised the bar on the art form over the past several decades (that’s why I’m a little sad that Miazaki-san recently announced his retirement from directing). Disney studios have been s-l-o-w-l-y reissuing the Miyazaki catalog on Blu-ray. This 1997 Ghibli production is a welcome addition to high-def, as it is one of their most visually resplendent offerings. Perhaps not as “kid-friendly” as per usual, but most of the patented Miyazaki themes are present: humanism, white magic, beneficent forest gods, female empowerment, and pacifist angst in a ubiquitously violent world. The beautiful score is by frequent Miyazaki collaborator Joe Hisaishi.