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The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

  • Drama
  • 2013
  • Isao Takahata
  • 131 mins
  • U

Summary

An elderly bamboo cutter finds a tiny princess in a glowing shoot, little realising she will grow up to be a beautiful, strong-willed woman. After receiving several marriage proposals, she sets her suitors a variety of challenges in an attempt to learn which of them deserves to win her heart. Animated fantasy, featuring the voices of Chloe Grace Moretz, James Caan and Mary Steenburgen.

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Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Inspired by a folk tale about a magical princess found in a bamboo shoot, this Japanese film controversially made the shortlist for best animated feature at the 2015 Oscars when The Lego Movie didn't. It's actually no surprise that the tradition-revering Academy would favour this delicate, handcrafted work, which showcases the exemplary draughtsmanship of its director Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies), a co-founder of Studio Ghibli alongside the more renowned Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, The Wind Rises). Nevertheless, although some sequences are exquisitely rendered, it has to be admitted that this is also overlong and a little on the dull side, while the narrative may be somewhat alienating for Western viewers expecting neat dramatic arcs and comforting conclusions. Be prepared for a melancholy dénouement that's not suitable for younger children, but which grown-ups and older kids may find heartbreaking.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

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Princess KaguyaChloë Grace Moretz
SutemaruDarren Criss
Okina, the bamboo cutterJames Caan
Ona, the bamboo cutter's wife / NarratorMary Steenburgen
Lady SagamiLucy Liu
Inbe no AkitaGeorge Segal
Prince IshitsukuriJames Marsden
Prince KuramochiBeau Bridges
Lord Minster of the Right AbeOliver Platt
Great Counselor OtomoDaniel Dae Kim
Middle Counselor IsonokamiJohn Cho
MikadoDean Cain

Crew

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DirectorIsao Takahata

Details

Theatrical distributor
Studio Canal
Released on
2015-03-20
Language
Japanese
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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