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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Drama, Fantasy, Animation
IMDB rating:
Isao Takahata
James Caan as The Bamboo Cutter (voice)
Brian Leone as Villager (voice)
Darren Criss as Sutemaru (voice)
Hynden Walch as Me no Warawa (voice)
Chloe Moretz as The Princess Kaguya (voice)
Beau Bridges as Prince Kuramochi (voice)
Oliver Platt as Lord Minster of the Right Abe (voice)
Mary Steenburgen as The Bamboo Cutter's Wife / Narrator (voice)
Daniel Dae Kim as Great Counselor Otomo (voice)
James Marsden as Prince Ishitsukuri (voice)
Dean Cain as The Mikado (voice)
George Segal as Inbe no Akita (voice)
Lucy Liu as Lady Sagami (voice)
John Cho as Middle Counselor Isonokami (voice)
Storyline: An old man makes a living by selling bamboo. One day, he finds a princess in a bamboo. The princess is only the size of a finger. Her name is Kaguya. When Kaguya grows up, 5 men from prestigious families propose to her. Kaguya asks the men to find memorable marriage gifts for her, but the 5 men are unable to find what Kaguya wants. Then, the Emperor of Japan proposes to her.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
720p 1280x692 px 3117 Mb h264 3175 Kbps mkv Download
Aesthetically Pleasing, Artistically Fulfilling & Emotionally Captivating!
One of Studio Ghibli's last feature films before the legendary animation studio went on an indefinite break, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is Isao Takahata's first picture in over 15 years and happens to be an eloquently narrated, gorgeously animated & patiently paced cinema that attempts to bring on screen one of the oldest tales in Japanese folklore.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya tells the story of its titular character who was found in a bamboo shoot by a bamboo cutter who, believing her to be a divine presence, brings her home to his wife. Although this mysterious tiny girl grows rapidly into a young lady, dazzling all who encounters her, she eventually is left with no alternative but to confront her own fate.

Co-written & directed by Isao Takahata (best known for Grave of the Fireflies), this tale is crafted with precision care & elegance plus how all of it is animated brings an artistic vibe of its own. The use of colour palette, sketch-like animation & minimalist approach leaves a lasting impression, the voice performances are spot-on while Joe Hisaishi's score nicely compliments the whole narrative.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya also covers the various restraints women find themselves in every facet of life, no matter what society they happen to be part of, and exposes that without preaching. However, its 137 minutes of runtime feels a tad too long, the final act is stretched, and although its creativity is undeniably impressive, the whole story kind of lacks that immersive element, much like Takahata's earlier works.

On an overall scale, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya brims with some truly astonishing images and is another winning marvel from the acclaimed studio. It's aesthetically pleasing, artistically fulfilling & emotionally gripping and there are going to be many who will have nothing but endless praise for the manner in which this ancient Japanese folklore is illustrated on the film canvas. As for me, I do admire a number of things about Takahata's latest but don't feel any love for it. Still, I've no qualms in recommending it to anyone for it is worthy of a broader audience.
A piece of artwork to cherish
Being a Ghibli lover, I watched this movie with a good preparation in order to appreciate the work of M.Takahata. I was a bit hesitant to see this particular movie after seeing Miyazaki's film (the wind rises) because I knew Takahata can make such emotional scenes and this will sadden you for days (like The grave of fireflies) The tale is already a fantastic tale,and the style and animation is matching perfectly the story. This is an artistic work, not something you throw after consumption. This is directed to people who can appreciate a drawing , a poem, a landscape and dream with it. Not only, the movie will rise so many emotions in you but it will also take your expectations to a higher level and ends with the most majestic scene you can imagine.
Beautifully crafted epic
Isao Takahata's The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a beautifully crafted epic. The animation, atypical of the style of Ghibli-style blockbuster we've come to expect and love in the UK, is delicate and beautiful. It is of no surprise that this melancholic triumph received an Oscar nomination for best animated film this year.

Based on 10th Century Japanese folklore, it follows the life of a humble bamboo cutter who stumbles upon a glowing stalk, a tiny, hand-sized girl growing within. Returning home to his wife with excitement, the child rapidly transforms from baby, to toddler, to infant in a beautifully animated transition. Though the genuine film can be seen with subtitles, the dubbed version stars a formidable cast of Chloë Grace Moretz, Darren Criss, James Caan and Lucy Lui that compliments the animation impeccably. It's then down to personal preference as to which you'd rather experience.

The tale beautifully and poignantly manifests itself as a parable-like journey, staying relatively true to its historical and mystical routes. The story follows the family as the bamboo cutter moves them to the city in order to fulfil Kaguya's destiny of becoming a princess. Though it is never clear as to how or why the father made the connection between his adoptive child and her future of royalty, the film rifles on and allows the little plot indiscretions to go largely unquestioned. The balance between humour and solemnity helps the narrative flow whilst making you feel real empathy for Kaguya and her situation. Whimsical moments deliver in captivating you entirely.

The film also injects sorrow, particularly as the princess struggles with her new life away from the farm, friends and freedom she grew up with. And While her life moves on, the film develops upon these points before flowing lovingly into a situation in which the Princess sends five potential love interests on a mission to find for her an unobtainable gift. The new development, in which Kaguya finally embraces her power, is charming and brilliant!

Animated entirely from the modern innovation of ink and watercolour, the definition in the penmanship drives the tone of the film. In moments of calm the pen marks curve delicately, whilst in times of trouble ink is sharp, aggressive and unfinished. The effect adds peace and rigour respectively, another layer to enhance the story. The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a welcome departure from this over-saturated CGI market that, whilst great in its own mediums, has detracted from the flare of ink based animation. Here Isao Takahata reminds us that it is still a daring art form that can craft glorious movies such as this.

The entire film is held together exquisitely by another Joe Hisaishi masterclass. The stirring soundtrack adding beauty, elegance and hope to an already sublime film. The concluding piece of music is harrowing, yet delightful in the ultimate juxtaposition of image and sound. The score alone will have you scurrying home and downloading it just to hear it again.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya is surprising and captivating, a true victory of imagination. With folklore at it's heart it airs on ridiculous, but remains grounded enough to thrill. The story is simple enough, but ends with a profound message.

Originally written for: I'm With Geek
Delightful and sort of frustrating
I liked this to a good extent, and my rating goes up because of the last 15 minutes, which are so magnificent. Those last several minutes and the first act are truly brilliant, but for some reason, the film sort of lost me in its middle and a little more than that. Not completely lost me, but it did get a little too much and it got to less interesting overall. I can't say I completely agree with the critical acclaim it's gotten, but I think it's a good, sometimes very good, film, definitely made stronger because of certain scenes. The sound mixing here is incredible, and the voice acting (in its original language) is pretty fantastic as well. Overall, still recommended but with reservations, yeah.
A beautiful version of the old Japanese folk tale. A must see!
Like many other Ghibli fans I didn't like the Yamadas back in the day but Takahata Isao has returned with a blast.

The film is beautiful. The animation is simple yet exquisite, reminiscent of old Japanese watercolours. Special kudos go to Joe Hisaishi for his superb soundtrack - the final scene and its music left me almost in tears.

The only problems lie in the sometimes slow development of the plot and a few loose ends. There are also tiny deviations from the original story, but I felt that it was as true to it as possible. All in all a beautifully drawn, beautifully crafted movie, solid voice acting (for a Japanese movie at least) and, again, the beautiful music. Excellent job, Ghibli.

Hats down to Mr. Takahata as well.
This is truly the best animation movie of 2014
The tale of the Princess Kaguya brings in the Japanese tale about princess kaguya and her journey to find the meaning of happiness.

Since this is Ghibli studio movie , it's for sure still amazing looking movie but even more stunning with it's Japanese painting style , and even that the movement of characters in the movie is still really good and some scene which character moving really fast it's just so amazing and so beautiful to watch.

With that and Isao Takahata great storytelling just make this movie a really top list of animation movies.

One thing that really make a lot of people angry is the ending of this movie which is not a surprise consider Isao Takahata famous movie like Grave of the Fireflies but honestly i personally really like the ending because it's just fit to the theme of this movie so much.

and that theme is talking about finding the "happiness" but in the reality world it's not that easy and sometimes you just can't change everything especially the terrible fate that waiting for you and that what's The tale of the princess kaguya talks about.

In the end this movie is truly the best animation movie of 2014 without any doubt in my mind , and maybe even the best movie of studio Ghibli.
An Animated Masterpiece, Reinvents the Term Simplistic Beauty
Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK)

Rating: 4.7/5 stars

Boasting narrative depth, unbridled candor, and exquisite visual beauty, "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya" is a modern animated treasure with timeless appeal. Legendary Studio Ghibli cofounder Isao Takahata ("Grave of the Fireflies", "Pom Poko") revisits Japan's most famous folktale in this gorgeous, hand-drawn masterwork, decades in the making. One day, an old bamboo cutter finds a princess side a shining stalk of bamboo. Along with his wife, he decides to raise the princess, who's only the size of a finger, but soon grows into an exquisite young lady. When Kaguya grows up, 5 men from prestigious families propose to her. Kaguya asks the men to find memorable marriage gifts for her, but they are unable to do so. Then, the Emperor of Japan himself proposes to her. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her, but ultimately she must confront her fate.

From the studio that brought you "Spirited Away" (2001), "Princess Mononoke" (1997), "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" (1984), and numerous other animated classics comes a powerful and sweeping epic that redefines the limits of animated storytelling while marking a triumphant highpoint within an extraordinary career in filmmaking for director Isao Takahata. The Japanese have long been revered as masters of animation, and "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya" is a fitting farewell for one of the genre's greats.

With its sumptuous images and impressionistic storytelling, the film is nothing short of a delicate, stirring fable - both joyous and melancholic. The animation notwithstanding, what makes "Princess Kaguya" stick in emotional terms is its depiction of an extraordinary girl, learning for herself that a life without real joy and spontaneity is only a shadow of a life. A charmingly sad story is sweetly told through breathtaking, hand-drawn sketches to give us a sweeping epic that's lyrical and heartbreaking in ways which most live-action movies can only aspire to. If there's a message here about the foolhardiness of parental expectations and societal conformations, it fades away in the face of the film's rapturous visuals.

The fact that this film is animated using nothing more than a pen, pencil, brush, and watercolors shows that even today 2D done right brings more depth and visual appeal to a story than all the advanced CGI, 3D, razmattaz effects thrown together. Takahata and his team of animators meticulously craft each scene with hand-drawn sketches and mesmerizing textures that perfectly complements the themes of the whimsical story. "Princess Kaguya" boasts one hauntingly beautiful sight after another, seemingly built on nothing more than slight sketches and quick brushstrokes - something Hollywood movie moguls could learn from if they'd ever seek a way out of the exorbitant costs invested in their tech-savvy animated films.

Featuring a heart-tugging story with characters that stay with you, and showcasing some the most gorgeous artwork in Japan's rich anime history, "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya" is a spellbinding spectacle that easily takes its position as one of Ghilbi's best works.
A rare gem of modern animation, a masterpiece no doubt.
Before this film, the last masterpiece by Takahata Isao at Studio Ghili is My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999). 7 years later, in 2006, he began a new animation project which is this film, and everyone had to wait another 7 years to see his work which was claimed prior to the release date by Nishimura Yoshiaki (a producer of the film) that this work is "the best and last" by Takahata. I completely agree with Mr. Nishimura. The film has a minimalist style taking some resemblance to My Neighbors Yamadas, but more colorful, more poetic and picturesque, and more artistically soaring in visual style. The plot is simple and beautiful. The soundtrack is awesome.

In his career at Ghibli, Takahata has made just 5 animated feature films for 25 years (including Grave of the Fireflies), roughly a half as much as Miyazaki Hayao's works (9 films), but as the more time went by, the better and the more creative Takahata has been in making his works. And with Kaguya, he has reached his highest peak in the life of creation. In my own opinion, this film is as excellent as Miyazaki's Spirited Away in general: less symbolic but way visually better than Miyazaki's work.

And like Grave of the Fireflies or Only Yesterday, Kaguya's ending leaves some melancholy in audiences' mind, though it is so predictable. Perhaps it's the melancholy not only about the film, but also about a rare gem in animation which has gone far far away and would never come back, like Kaguya.
Isao Takahata's best work
Isao Takahata has always been a so-so director in my opinion. Grave of the Fireflies remained his grand achievement throughout his whole career and his other films have been rather hard to sell to non-Japanese audiences because of their heavy reliance on Japanese culture, tradition and most especially humour. Which is why I was so pleasantly surprised by this film, which in my mind easily takes place as his new magnum opus.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya faithfully retells a classic Japanese folktale about a princess, send from the heavens, who is found by a humble bamboo cutter from within a bamboo stalk. Said bamboo cutter is given gold, cloth and everything else he needs to raise the princess as his own and to give her the kind of life she deserves. The films doesn't really deviate from the tale, but that shouldn't count against it, especially because any non-Japanese viewer is unlikely to know the tale intimately.

Plus, it's a really well-told tale, smoothly flowing from one scene to another, from the early days in a small cabin to grand feasts and noble suitors. Aki Asakura, the voice actor of Kaguya-hime, gives her a really likable personality and the film excels in showing both the humanity and otherworldly grace of the character.

I also really like the animation style, which mimics the drawings that were used to illustrate the tale in the ancient times. It's simplistic yet beautiful most of the time, but can be very expressive when the scene calls for it. There are also couple segments which utilize a more experimental, almost abstract style, and they are easily the best parts of the film aesthetically.

As a whole The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is an amazing experience. The story is universal enough to be appreciated by any viewer, yet it remains intimately Japanese at its roots. The animation style is beautiful in its bleakness, the characters are enjoyable and as a whole the film is one of the finest Studio Ghibli has ever released. Definitely worth a watch.
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