For our 53rd episode we review the Studio Ghibli and Hayeo Miyazaki film, Princess Mononoke. Princess Mononoke came out in 1997 and is still, in the opinion of this podcast, Studio Ghibli’s best film. It is Miyazaki’s most adult film that explores deep and often unanswerable questions. There are no easy answers in this film and the story takes great lengths to explore both sides of issues. There are strong pro-environmental themes running through this film but it doesn’t disregard the reality. Sometimes, destroying a forest is vital to someone’s life and livelihood.
We attempt a serious in depth discussion of the film in this episode. I don’t know how well we succeed. Neither of us are film scholars or are scholars in general. However, we gave it our best and hopefully it’s still entertaining.
This episode we discuss the Ghibli film Howl’s Moving Castle AND the book Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. We had two requests from Tora-chan and Monica G for the Miyazaki directed Howl’s Moving Castle, but decided to also include the book in our discussion. I read the book long before I saw the movie, and its far far superior to the lackluster Ghibli film. Sophie is a much more fiery and proactive heroine in the book. She was very much Howl’s equal. Furthermore, most of the narrative problems with the movie stem from the nonsensical add ons that Ghibli stacked on that were not prescent in Diana Wynne’s book. There was nothing about the enviroment in the original book, and the war was something that was only mentioned briefly.
This episode is a little short. Melanie’s connection was going out so we had to end the discussion about 10-15 minutes early. The episode is still a half an hour long, though.
So what was your opinion on Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle? How do you think it holds up to the book? Were you even aware there was a book? Got requests? Please comment, we love to hear your thoughts and opinions!