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A Closer Look: Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke" Hits US Theatres

Two years after its release in Japan, Hayao Miyazaki's top-grossinganimated film "Princess Mononoke" will be released theatrically in the U.S.on October 29, 1999. It is noteworthy that the film is being released byMiramax Films, a Disney company. "Princess Mononoke" is one of the fewanimated features which can compare with Disney's in terms of audience andbox office. The film earned its spot as the all-time highest grossing filmin Japan, bringing in sell-out crowds, long lines at theaters and over $150million at the box office in Japan in 1997. It even topped the Japanesebox office totals for "E.T." and "Jurassic Park." Although the film isknown to contain graphic violence, neither the visuals nor the music wereedited by Miramax, per strict distribution agreement with the film'sproducers, Studio Ghibli. However, new voice tracks were recorded for adubbed English version, featuring the voices of Minnie Driver, Claire Danesand Billy Bob Thorson, among others. In addition, to celebrate the USpremiere of Studio Ghibli's film, Studio Ghibli retrospectives are beingheld throughout the United States, most of them showing all of the studio'sfilms including "Porco Rosso" (1992), which became the Japanese animationindustry's biggest hit (remaining so until the release of "PrincessMononoke") and topped the year's box office chart.

An exclusive interview with "Princess Mononoke"'s director, Hayao Miyazaki, will be published in the November '99 issue of Animation World Magazine.

To read more on the Asian animation industry, read the August '98 issue of Animation World Magazine, when we took a look at Animation in Asia.

Asian animation will be featured again in the December '99 issue ofAnimation World Magazine.