Princess Mononoke
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -1

Japans renowned animator, Miyazaki, created PRINCESS MONONOKE, a mythical morality tale set in the 15th century. One of the most successful films ever released in Japan, the Japanese version has been adapted for U.S. release with English dialogue and American actors voices. Prince Anistaka (voice of Billy Crudup) saves his peaceful village from an attack by a demonized wild boar. Unfortunately, the boar infects him with a fatal virus. He leaves home with his giant elk to search for a cure. He discovers a village of warriors who chase him away, and a dark, spirit-filled forest that miraculously provides the brave prince safe passage. Then he comes upon the "Iron Village," a bustling center of industry, led by Lady Eboshi (Minnie Driver). She has recruited lepers and prostitutes to produce iron and manufacture rifles to protect their fortress. San (Claire Danes), a girl brought up by a wolves, leads a wolf pack against the Iron Village to stop its destruction of wild life. Danger lurks around every corner as Anistaka becomes the catalyst who teaches the two factions how to live in harmony. Not intended for young children and too violent for them, PRINCESS MONONOKEs musical score, gorgeous animation, and non-stop action could make it a surprise box-office hit for teenagers and adults.

Good and evil animal spirits, mystic eastern fortune telling and nature worship are all part of ancient Japanese folklore. The demonized boars vicious attack is rationalized by a crude metal ball imbedded in his thick hide by a previous human attack. Despite the theme of respecting all life, in battles, heads are lopped off by samari warriors, others are killed by bows and arrows and exploding land mines. San and Lady Eboshi face each other in a fight with knives. Once, an injured Anistaka is left for dead, but his loyal elk never leaves his side. When the young prince is too weak to eat, the elk chews his masters food and feeds him. Also, San ministers to her injured wolf-mother by sucking blood from her wound and spitting it out. There is no sex or nudity, but the female workers at the Iron Village wear low-cut robes. Language is subdued with a few mild and moderate crudities and two exclamatory profanities. PRINCESS MONONOKE can be appreciated for its artistic qualities, but its animal spirits, mystical rituals and excessive graphic violence will disturb Christian viewers.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Miramax Films, 375 Greenwich, NY, NY 10013

Crude Language: Several (5) timesMild 3, Moderate 2
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: Few (2) timesExclamatory (Oh my God)
Violence: Many timesModerate and Severe (many fierce battles with swords, bows and arrows, exploding land mines and massacres; soldiers heads cut off, girl sucks blood out of animals wound, two women fight with knives; hideous monster attacks)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None; Near Nudity: Few times (women in low-cut robes)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Worship of animal spirits; demon-possessed animals; woman predicts future with stones; theme of harmony between nature and industry; woman uses lepers and prostitutes in iron producing business
Running Time: 84 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and adults

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