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The Art of Princess Mononoke by Hayao…
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The Art of Princess Mononoke (edition 2014)

by Hayao Miyazaki (Artist)

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1033207,272 (4.41)None
The latest in the perennially popular line of Studio Ghibli artbooks, which include interviews, concept sketches, and finished animation cels from classics such as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. Princess Mononoke was the first Hayao Miyazaki film to break out into the American mainstream. The journey from initial idea to the big screen is captured here, in the hundreds of images from preliminary sketches to dynamic animation cels.… (more)
Member:wespector
Title:The Art of Princess Mononoke
Authors:Hayao Miyazaki (Artist)
Info:VIZ Media LLC (2014), 224 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Art of The Princess Mononoke ( Studio Ghibli The Art Series ) by Hayao Miyazaki

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That moment when you’re super excited to start reading an art book, but open it only to realize that all the text is in Japanese… Especially when the Studio Ghibli art books are ones which I generally do read the text! I mean, I did study Japanese for a long time, but kanji is super complicated, and there’s no way that even at my prime I could have fooled myself into thinking I could read the text here! At least the wonderful artwork is not affected by the lack of textual material, even if I wish that I could have read about how they utilized the (new) CGI technology for this innovative film. The book is separated into various sections (meaning what I’m not entirely sure), but the material seems to flow naturally between segments, and topics like character development, layering imagery, etc are discussed throughout. Roughly I would say that the book is organized more chronologically than other examples from the “Art of…” series, which focus more clearly on topics like the development of characters and colour palettes. Without the text, I can’t really be sure how they’re organizing things and what the major themes they’re trying to discuss are, but compared to the other books this one seemed to be more of an overall celebration of the film than a serious study of animation and cinematographic techniques. Even with this lack of focus, it was a great opportunity to get back into the feudal Japan-inspired world of Princess Mononoke through the artwork. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
A big disappointment after the Nausicaä book. This is mostly just a synopsis of the film using stills and backgrounds from it. There's a one-page blurb by the director about what kind of a movie he wanted to make, but not a word on the creative process or on how he thought it all turned out. There's a nice but unannotated production diary by someone named Tanaka.

Cash grab merchandise, basically. ( )
  defaults | Nov 14, 2017 |
Based upon review written for No Flying, No Tights

When it comes to talking about modern animation the conversation has to start with Hayao Miyazaki, one of the most well respected creator today. Often called the Walt Disney of Japan, Miyazaki’s movies have had a prolific impact upon animation and storytelling. One of his most well known and well loved films, Princess Mononoke, was also his first film to make it American audiences. In Princess Mononoke viewers are introduced to a variety of beautiful, majestic, and terrifying spirits and creatures that inhabit the forest world, and the destruction of that world that leads to horrible consequences. But Miyazaki’s original concept for Princess Mononoke was much different than what we see in the films. These two books from Viz media show what the original story was, what it came to be, and the beautiful illustrations that capture both stories.

While this oversized and beautifully illustrated storybook that feature original watercolors by Miyazaki feels, and looks, like a children’s book it isn’t. Miyazaki created these illustrations and story to show film and TV studios what he was planning in order to find backing to produce the feature. Sadly none of them took Miyazaki up on the story and he stashed it away out of sight...until now. Thanks to Viz Media we get to see what the original story and concept of the movie was. Miyazaki’s original story for Princess Mononoke, was about a lost samurai, a young girl, an evil spirit, and a wild and fierce Mononoke. After a long war, a lost samurai encounters a giant Mononoke. Instead of eating the warrior, the Mononoke agrees to let him live...in exchange for his daughter’s hand in marriage. But before the Mononoke can come to take the daughter’s hand, an evil spirit entraps the samurai and the daughter will not wed til he is free. And their begins a journey the Mononoke and the daughter take together. One word of note, some readers may be turned off by the book because the story isn’t really fleshed out and the characters don’t really have names. For example, the daughter is referred to as daughter number 3 throughout the entire book. But, as mentioned earlier, this was not intended as a book, but as a way to sell the concept to studios. What this book does show is how Miyazaki put together initial concepts and how vastly different stories can be from concept to finish.

The artbook will be more familiar to Ghibli book fans, as it shows the concept and art behind the film that viewers know and love today. It includes interviews, concept sketches, watercolor illustrations of the characters and creatures in their first forms, and finished animation cels from the final movie. This a beautifully produced hardcover book that readers will treasure and enjoy for a long time as they examine in detail the spirits and creatures of the forest, their surroundings, and how they came to be. Another nice feature of the book is that it includes tutorials on how the film was made, as well as a production diary that lists milestones and activities of things that occurred, such as Miyazaki’s acupuncture appointments.

As an added bonus, both books include original essays by Miyazaki introducing the concept behind the original story, what it became, and what he wished has been different. While the storybook contains less of a story and more of a concept, fan of Ghibli and Miyazaki will enjoy both of these titles and examining the illustrations in them. I would highly recommend both titles also to anyone interested in animation, to see one way to put together concepts, stories, and storyboarding. ( )
  zzshupinga | Jan 2, 2015 |
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The latest in the perennially popular line of Studio Ghibli artbooks, which include interviews, concept sketches, and finished animation cels from classics such as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. Princess Mononoke was the first Hayao Miyazaki film to break out into the American mainstream. The journey from initial idea to the big screen is captured here, in the hundreds of images from preliminary sketches to dynamic animation cels.

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