NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD FOR THE FIRST TIME
Vocal Talents Gillian Anderson, Billy Crudup, Claire Danes,
Minnie Driver, Billy Bob Thornton and Jada Pinkett Smith
Star In Amazing Feature
DVD INCLUDES ORIGINAL
JAPANESE LANGUAGE TRACK
BURBANK, Calif., November 22, 2000 - PRINCESS MONONOKE, the magnificent adventure directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Japan's leading animator, is now available on DVD from Miramax Home Entertainment. Truly an animated epic, the action-packed, breathtakingly beautiful film features stunning visuals, a riveting storyline and an all-star vocal cast. One of the top-grossing box office films ever in Japan, PRINCESS MONONOKE represents a milestone in animated feature films. This landmark triumph is available on DVD at the collectible price of $34.99 (S.R.P.).
Available for the first time, the DVD version of PRINCESS MONONOKE features a special production featurette about the film and the original English-language theatrical trailer. The film is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio enhanced for 16" x 9" televisions, with 5.1 surround audio and separate Japanese and French language tracks.
PRINCESS MONONOKE features an amazing vocal cast, each carefully chosen to lend their expert abilities to the English-language translation of this sweeping drama. Gillian Anderson ("The X Files"), Billy Crudup ("Almost Famous"), Claire Danes ("Brokedown Palace," "Romeo + Juliet"), Minnie Driver ("Good Will Hunting"), Billy Bob Thornton ("Armageddon") and Jada Pinkett Smith ("Woo") are among the actors who add their talents to the film. A new screenplay adaptation by Neil Gaiman and Jack Fletcher allows English-speaking audiences to fully enjoy the themes and details in Hayao Miyazaki's masterwork.
Set in ancient Japan, PRINCESS MONONOKE tells the sweeping story of the clash between the mythic gods of the forest and the humans who encroach upon the forestland. Ashitaka (Billy Crudup) is a warrior who, in doing battle with a rampaging forest god, is inflicted with a life-threatening curse. Ashitaka travels to a faraway land to find a cure, but finds himself immersed in the conflict between the forest gods and a village of iron miners, led by the relentless Lady Eboshi (Minnie Driver).
While the ironworkers ravage the forest, the forest gods' assaults are led by a human, the startling Princess Mononoke (Claire Danes), a young woman raised by wolves. As Ashitaka meets more players in the battle, including the majestic wolf god Moro (Gillian Anderson), the opportunistic Jigo (Billy Bob Thornton) and the friendly ironworker Toki (Jada Pinkett Smith), he finds that the conflict has many sides. The Great God of the Forest, a magical creature, gives power to the primal gods to protect their domain, yet saves the intruder Ashitaka's life. Lady Eboshi's ironworkers devastate large plots of land, yet she provides the workers with jobs and safe haven from other clans. As tensions mount, Ashitaka finds himself caught in the middle of a war that neither side can win.
ABOUT PRINCESS MONONOKE
PRINCESS MONONOKE, with over 144,000 hand-drawn cels and computer-generated images, took over three years to complete. Eschewing the rounded cuteness of most animation, Hayao Miyazaki instead creates an imaginatively naturalistic world in which animals, mountains, lakes and meadows have a breathtakingly real look and feel. The primeval forest is not just another painted backdrop but instead evokes a deep, mysterious presence. The extraordinary attention to detail, with the grain and heft of every log carefully rendered, pushes the limits of animation to greater heights.
Approximately 10% of PRINCESS MONONOKE is computer-generated. Miyazaki's previous films have all been completely hand-crafted, but for PRINCESS MONONOKE, Miyazaki chose to take advantage of cutting edge computer technology. Computer effects were employed to create such three-dimensional sequences as the snake-like tendrils that emerge from the Demon God and the awe-inspiring journeys of the giant Nightwalker. This required new software that could emulate the feel of thickly applied paints, sharp contour lines and other characteristics of cel animation.
ABOUT HAYAO MIYAZAKI
Sometimes referred to as the Walt Disney of Japan, Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most respected and admired animators in the world. Many of his films have been among his country's top box office hits in recent years, including KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE, which successfully debuted in the United States in 1998 through Buena Vista Home Entertainment.
Known as a hands-on worker and artist, Miyazaki painstakingly crafts features that take years to complete, and his lyrical fantasy worlds, populated with characters who evoke poignant emotions, are unique animated creations. For PRINCESS MONONOKE, it is estimated that he personally drew 80,000 of the film's 140,000 animated frames.
Miyazaki made his feature film debut as director with the animated "The Castle Of Cagliostro," a 1979 feature that became a box office success in Japan. In 1984, "Nausicaš Of The Valley Of The Wind" featured an ecological theme in its story of a young girl's struggle to survive in a poisoned world inhabited by warring tribes and giant mutant insects. Miyazaki's followup to "Nausicaš" was the 1986 "Laputa: Castle In The Sky," a fantastic adventure about a search for a lost flying island. In order to produce the film, Miyazaki and his partner Isao Takahata launched their new animation studio, Studio Ghibli, in 1985.
In 1988 Miyazaki wrote and directed the original, charming fantasy "My Neighbor Totoro," about the encounter of two young sisters with magical creatures, which proved enormously popular with both adults and children in Japan. Studio Ghibli launched "Kiki's Delivery Service" in 1989, a beautiful, funny and heartwarming tale of a little girl who starts a delivery service with her flying broom in order to complete her apprenticeship as a witch. Ghibli's followup film, 1991's "Only Yesterday," was executive produced by Miyazaki but scripted and directed by Takahata.
The studio scored another big Japanese box office success with the 1992 "Porco Rosso." Scripted and directed by Miyazaki, the film includes Miyazaki trademarks such as breathtaking flying sequences and a feisty young heroine. In 1995, Studio Ghibli released "Whisper Of The Heart," scripted by Miyazaki. In 1997, PRINCESS MONONOKE took Japanese filmgoers by storm. Just weeks after its release the animated film broke the top Japanese box office record set by "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial." The film garnered the 1998 Best Picture Award at the Japanese equivalent of the Academy Awards .
Miramax Films brought PRINCESS MONONOKE to American audiences in 1999 with a screenplay adaptation by Neil Gaiman and Jack Fletcher. The film remains entirely faithful to Miyazaki's themes, with a voice cast that includes Gillian Anderson, Minnie Driver, Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Billy Bob Thornton and Jada Pinkett Smith, among others.
PRINCESS MONONOKE - A GLOSSARY
Ashitaka: A young warrior of the Emishi clan, Ashitaka is forced to destroy a monster to protect his village. This act brings a curse upon Ashitaka, forcing him to travel to faraway lands to find a cure. His travels bring him into the war between the forest gods and another clan.
Emishi: An ancient, primitive Japanese tribe long thought vanished. The Emishi proudly maintained their independence from the Japanese Emperor for a long time but were finally defeated by the first Shogun at the end of the 8th century. Today little is known about them.
Jigo: A mysterious monk who befriends Ashitaka but may be more than he seems.
Lady Eboshi: The Tatara clan's leader, Lady Eboshi is at once compassionate towards her people and merciless towards the beasts of the forest.
Princess Mononoke: Also know as San, a human girl raised as a wolf princess by Moro the Wolf god. Mononoke literally means "spirit."
Tatara: A clan of ironworkers struggling to survive at the edge of the forest. In the Tatara iron-making process, iron sands and charcoal are put in a furnace made of clay and burned for several days, making an iron ingot. The forest's trees are an important resource in fueling the iron-making process.
Toki: An ironworker who befriends Ashitaka.
Great Forest Spirit: The primary god of the forest, the very life force who has the power to give and take away life. Grass grows and flowers bloom wherever his hooves touch down.
Kodama: Tree spirits of various shapes and sizes who appear only in the dim light of the forest. Tree spirits inhabit many Japanese folk tales although Miyazaki's depiction of them is original.
Lord Okkoto: One of the last boar gods. Although fiercely angry at humans, Lord Okkoto will listen to reason.
Moro: The Wolf Queen and queen of the forest. Also the adopted mother of the human girl, San, Princess Mononoke.
Nightwalker: At night, the Great Forest Spirit is transformed into this shimmering, illusory creature.
Yakul: A loyal elk that accompanies Ashitaka on his journey.
© Buena Vista home Entertainment, Inc.