Director: Isao Takahata
Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Darren Criss, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen
Screenplay: Isao Takahata, Riko Sakaguchi
137 mins. Rated PG for thematic elements, some violent action and partial nudity.
- Academy Award Nominee: Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
In the latest release from Studio Ghibli, an elderly Bamboo Cutter (James Caan, The Godfather, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) finds a small girl inside a bamboo shoot. He and his wife (Mary Steenburgen, Back to the Future Part III, Last Vegas) name the girl Princess (Chloe Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass, The Equalizer) and care for her as their own. As Princess Kaguya entices everyone around her, she comes closer and closer to paying for an indiscretion she doesn’t remember making.
Based on The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, this Studio Ghibli film continues the tradition of excellent looking animation that pushes the boundaries of hand-drawn, even today. But for all the visual delight of the film, it still lacks a punch in its bulky slow new addition. This film drags on much longer than it needs to. Pushing the two-and-a-half-hour mark, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya showcases some great voice work, but just can’t get over its pace. Other than that, the film is stunningly beautiful.
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya isn’t the worst of the Studio Ghibli films, but it is far away from being the best. It’s English voice cast it great and it boasts some of the most interesting and challenging animation being used today, but it just doesn’t end, and sadly, that is its downfall.
-Kyle A. Goethe