Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫 Mononoke-hime) is a 1997 epic Japanese animated historical fantasy feature film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. "Mononoke" (物の怪) is not a name, but a general term in the Japanese language for a spirit or monster. The film was first released in Japan on July 12, 1997, and in the United States on October 29, 1999.
Princess Mononoke is a period drama set specifically in the late Muromachi period of Japan but with numerous fantastic elements. The story concentrates on involvement of the outsider Ashitaka in the struggle between the supernatural guardians of a forest and the humans of the Iron Town who consume its resources. There are no good and evil in this struggle and the sympathies of the film makers keep switching. There can be no clear victory, and the hope is that relationship between humans and the nature is cyclic.
Roger Ebert placed the movie sixth on his top ten movies of 1999. Mononoke also became the highest grossing movie in Japan until Titanic took over the spot several months later. Overall, Mononoke is the fourth highest grossing anime movie in Japan, next to 2001's Spirited Away and 2004's Howl's Moving Castle, and 2008's Ponyo, all of which were also by Miyazaki.
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