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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2014)

This is an odd animated film, which is one of the five animated movies nominated for an Academy Award this year.  It is based on a Japanese folk tale called The Bamboo Cutter’s Daughter.  The bamboo cutter lives in a very rural community on the edge of a bamboo grove.  One day the bamboo cutter is in the woods and he finds a golden bamboo shoot with a small baby in it.  He brings her hoe to his childless wife and they raise her as a princess, a magical gift from a god above.

She starts off with a carefree existence, learning about the land and how to live off it.  She is free spirited and fun to be around, even if she seems to grow at an inordinately quick rate.  Then the father finds what is essentially a pot of gold and decides that means that he needs to move her to the city and teach her to live the high life of a princess.  Which essentially doesn't go all that well.  The animation looks like it has been drawn with charcoal and water colored in.  Dainty and genteel at the same time. Not exactly a children's story, but kids do like dark tales and this has a bit of that edge about it, despites it's pink tones.

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