Fan Impressions of Princess Mononoke, 1999

I wanted to share this page of reviews by fans who were lucky enough to see early pre-release screenings of the Miramax-dubbed Princess Mononoke in 1999. I find this to be a very valuable tool, in that we are weeing initial impressions from dedicated Studio Ghibli fans back when they were truly the keepers of the flame. They were fierce defenders of Ghibli, but eager to see Hayao Miyazaki win mainstream acceptance. Anime during this time was still very much an underground, "alternative" thing, while greater America was indifferent, baffled or hostile.

Heck, Roger Ebert was pretty much the only major film critic in the US to openly champion anime, and do so on anime's own terms. This sub-culture appeared as counterculture as the beats of the '50s and the hippies of the '60s. Thankfully, we've come a long way in the years since, but that's because of the generational shift as younger people embrace the scene.

For me, I'm really enjoying these short essays. I haven't spent serious time with Mononoke in a number of years, so this really does feel like a rediscovery, one that gives me a greater appreciation not only of Miyazaki's vision, but the American version as well. Now if only I could get that nasty scratch removed from my R2 Mononoke DVD...

Fan Impressions of Princess Mononoke (1999,


notfadeaway said...

There's a wealth of information on the MML. I remember some of these impressions coming through when I was a subscriber. Of note is that Susan J. Napier posts impressions - a year or so later she released her book on anime "ANIME: from Akira to Princess Mononoke" which is worth a look if you can stand the somewhat academic style of the text.

It's also worth noting that, IIRC, there were quite a few new subscribers to the MML post Mononoke US release. Small proof that the film was indeed another "Akira moment" and that the dub served a very important part of this process.


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