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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

A Princess' Crime and Punishment 

Year: 2015 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC U Cert – Universal 
Subtitles: It is expected that this film is fully subtitled. 
Directed by Isao Takahata 
Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen  
An image from The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

There is no point in beating around the bush. Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is a gem, a fascinating piece of artistic animation bound to cause every Japan enthusiast to stand in awe.

In his latest (and possibly last) animated film, Hayao Miyazaki’s partner in crime Isao Takahata offers the audience first and foremost a real treat for the eye. The whole feature boasts a classic 2D animation that appears to be beautifully hand-drawn, as if with a Japanese traditional calligraphy brush. Words really cannot do justice to such a stunning view, you have to see it for yourself.

Based on a thousand year old folktale, the film faithfully depicts ancient Japan with its customs, music and myths. Despite its undeniable virtues, however, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya might be a tad of a difficult ride for Ghibli fans who are looking for another Howl’s Moving Castle or even another Spirited Away. Takahata is simply not Miyazaki and he’s showing it boldly in this film. If you are familiar with Grave of the Fireflies, you’ll know what I mean. If not, you’d better get your tissues ready!

Morena Maglitto

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Screenings of this film:

2014/2015 Summer Term (digital)