The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Screen 15 articles

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

2013

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Poster
  • Why did they send [Kaguya] down in the first place? Me no get it, me feel dumb. That's Ed, an explanation wouldn't really help, as I never connected with this film on any level apart from its watercolor beauty. Ghibli's idealistic conception of children has always left me cold, which is why my favorite Ghibli film—also directed by Takahata—is the wholly atypical My Neighbors the Yamadas.

  • “Princess Kaguya” looks like a departure from Mr. Takahata’s most famous film, “Grave of the Fireflies,” or his last, “My Neighbors the Yamadas” (though that one included a reference to this folk story). But his artistry and his feeling for his main character are just as deeply felt here.

  • The Tale of The Princess Kaguya has a quiet way about it, but its sense of metaphor is deep and refined... It is said that, not unlike Miyazaki and last year’s wonderful The Wind Rises, this might be Takahata’s last film. It’s a good one for a legend to go out on.

  • The key is in the change of title, and the associated focal shift from a male to a female character. For in taking the traditional story of a miraculous foundling baby girl raised by a woodcutter and his wife, Takahata brings his own feminist spin to Kaguya’s coming of age, showing how this child of nature is repeatedly kept from happiness by the forces of patriarchy.

  • Unlike some of Takahata’s films, Kaguya is very accessible to Western viewers, including children. Kaguya’s joy in nature is captivatingly drawn, whether she’s chasing a frog or playing with a kitten.

  • “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” is a visionary tour de force, morphing from a childlike gambol into a sophisticated allegory on the folly of materialism and the evanescence of beauty. Inspired by Eastern brush painting, this ethereal new feature from 78-year-old helmer Isao Takahata takes hand-drawn animation to new heights of fluidity.

  • Two stunning dreamlike sequences—one in furious, expressionist animation momentarily tearing at the film's wise calmness—startlingly open up the brilliant emotional inner life of a being not of this world: the subjectivity of a vibrant spirit. Eventually the heavens reclaim her, but whether it's death, womanhood, or, simply, withdrawal she attains is unclear. From mythology to grace to reality to mythology again. What a final film indeed.

  • As with Miyazaki Hayao’s The Wind Rises—another apparent final testament from one of Studio Ghibli’s co-founders—Kaguya’s pleasures derive from the ease and elegance with which it displays the lessons learned from a lifetime’s worth of creative activity, as well as from the elegiac feeling that this may in fact be the last of its kind.

  • The most overwhelmingly beautiful film of the festival was Isao Takahata’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which may be the master’s greatest work since Grave of the Fireflies, and deserves a slot at the top-tier of the Studio Ghibli canon. Hand drawn, soft, elegant, philosophical, and ultimately sobering in its treatment of the fragility of life...

  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2014) lets its director go out on a high note... In a remarkably stylized, exciting scene that contrasts with the rest of the film, [Princess Kaguya] races toward her forest home, and the pastel settings disappear. She becomes a blur of black, white, and red flashing through a gloomy landscape with sketchily drawn trees and plants that flicker wildly past:

  • A magnificent cherry tree in bloom, the ultimate Japanese symbol for mortality, exudes a striking emotional resonance in The Tale of Princess Kaguya, an adaptation of a Japanese fable by Studio Ghibli cofounder Isao Takahata. The soft colors, graceful movements, and clean lines that depict the animated figures and their environments, and the frequent close-ups of beautiful flora and fauna, embody the ineffable beauty of life on Earth that is one of the film's main themes.

  • [Takahata's] new film, his first in 14 years, is a staggering masterpiece of animation based on a very old Japanese folk tale. “The Tale of Princess Kaguya” is both very simple and head-spinningly confounding, a thing of endless visual beauty that seems to partake in a kind of pictorial minimalism but finds staggering possibilities for beautiful variation within its ineluctable modality. It’s a true work of art.

  • THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA undoubtedly speaks for itself, its beauty so ethereal that it's almost as otherworldly as its title character, but its delicate line drawings and impressionistic backgrounds are brought to life even more when informed by the tacit dedication that went into every stroke.

  • The animation is drawn in with colored pencil and watercolor, a vibrantly beautiful aesthetic. The lines are loose and flowing, and the delicate, minimalist aesthetic seemingly leaves landscapes half formed, as if developing along with Kaguya.

  • [It's] a typically lovely outing from Ghibli, but it’s far from typical in other senses: the whispery lyricism of its folkloric storytelling, as soft and spry as its pastel-sketch animation style, is miles removed from the dense felt-tip fantasy of Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away, though no less vivid.

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