The Tale of The Princess Kaguya


Action / Adventure / Animation / Drama / Family / Fantasy

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Chloë Grace Moretz Photo
Chloë Grace Moretz as The Princess Kaguya
James Marsden Photo
James Marsden as Prince Ishitsukuri
Lucy Liu Photo
Lucy Liu as Lady Sagami
James Caan Photo
James Caan as The Bamboo Cutter
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.23 GB
Japanese 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 17 min
P/S 0 / 5
2.53 GB
Japanese 5.1
23.976 fps
2 hr 17 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by valen06010 / 10

Incredible Art-Style and Profound Story

The Tale of Princess Kaguya was certainly a story that I was fully intrigued with. Because of its limited release in theaters, it wasn't easy trying to find it, but when I finally caught it at a local art house theater, I was further interested in the story that had yet to unfold. Since it was based on the centuries-old Japanese folktale, I know it has been told differently many times by various writers in literature, theater, even film. Nevertheless, I had to check out Studio Ghibli's take on the classic story.

It's about an elder bamboo cutter named Okina who discovers a young, tiny girl in a bamboo shoot and decides to adopt her as his own along with his loving wife Ona. As years progress, the tiny girl begins to grow rapidly to normal size like the other children of their village, eventually having to leave since her adoptive parents decide to have her raised among the nobles. From there, she is given the name "Princess Kaguya" and things become further complicated when so much is offered to her so suddenly.

When comparing this movie to past Studio Ghibli efforts, it's obvious that the animation style is nothing like its preceding films. And with studio founder Hayao Miyazaki having stepped down and no involvement with this current project, I have to say it's a drastic, yet vibrant change in what Studio Ghibli is widely known for. I loved the story and it had an ending that was rather heartwarming and enough to tug anyone's heartstrings. With the English dub voice of Kaguya done gracefully by Chloe Grace-Moretz (Let Me In, Carrie, If I Stay),she actually stands out well as the title character, like it wasn't forced.

The animation technique was rather intricate, but it was reminiscent of an old Japanese art painting I've once studied about in Art History classes at my local college. American animation studios have believed traditional 2-D to be a dying art form in the film industry these days, but I can tell Japan does not acknowledge it in that way at all, whether it's TV or film. The concept I started believing for the entire film felt like "a timeless painting" and it's quite a stroke of genius, in my opinion.

The music and underscore of Joe Hisaishi has left me engaged that it flows evenly well with the scenes as they play out. But most notably, director Isao Takahata really stepped up following his involvements with titles like "Kiki's Delivery Service," "My Neighbor The Yamadas," and even the touching "Grave of the Fireflies." This entire movie has earned its rightful place in the Studio Ghibli library. This is another example of a Ghibli film where you don't have to be an avid Japanese Anime fan to enjoy it, what matters is that such themes existed in various genres, not just in one medium or one genre alone.

Reviewed by MartinHafer7 / 10

It looks lovely

"The Tale of Princess Kaguya" is a very, very familiar story in Japan. It's from a story that is a thousand years old, "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter". And, since it's a classic, there have been many movie versions of the story. Because of this, I was quite familiar with this, as I'd already seen "Princess From the Moon"--a 1987 live-action version. Unlike the other six versions of the story that I was able to find, this one is animated and it comes from Studio Ghibli--the same people who make the Miyazaki films, though this one is from Isao Takahata.

For the most part, the story you see in the film is the old tale. One day, a poor woodcutter slices into a stalk of bamboo and finds a beautiful thumb-size child. Since he and his wife are childless and have always wanted one, they are overjoyed with the discovery and raise the child. However, the same fortune that brought them the baby also rewarded them with gold when the woodcutter chopped additional bamboo. And, oddly, the child grows to normal size and becomes a lady in practically no time at all. Soon they are rich and able to give their girl the life of a princess and she's taught all manners and customs that a proper lady would need. However, it's obvious that young Princess Kaguya isn't happy in this life, as courtier after courtier come for her hand and she simply isn't interested. So, she gives them impossible tasks to complete before she'd agree to marry any of them. When they all fail, the Emperor himself comes to court her but she rebuffs him--mostly because she knows her time on Earth is drawing to a close. Where all this goes next, you'll find out if you watch the movie.

The animation for this movie is quite lovely--with a nice look that appears as if the film was made with colored pencils and watercolors. While it's more minimalistic than you'd usually find in a Ghibli film, it looks very appropriate to the Medieval Japanese period. In fact, the look of the film is the best thing about the movie. The story, as you probably noticed above, is odd--especially to non-Japanese audiences. The ending, is even odder, by the way. But the film still could have worked despite the unusual story. However, I found the pacing to be too slow and I noticed my attention waning from time to time. Not surprisingly, it's the longest film released by Ghibli to date. Had they trimmed about 15 to 20 minutes and removed the plot involving the poor boyfriend (which was not in the original story),I think the film would have worked better for me. Worth seeing for a very patient audience who is looking for something very different--otherwise a strange sort of picture that probably would offer little appeal to kids and folks wanting something light and Disney-like.

By the way, although I was not bowled over by this film, it has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. My vote is for "The Box Trolls"...a film which managed to combine both artistry and an excellent original story.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird10 / 10

Truly stunning and quite possibly Studio Ghibli's best since Spirited Away

While I have not seen Song of the Sea yet, from personal opinion The Tale of the Princess Kagua was the best of the nominees. It is a stunning film and, while the Ghibli films since Spirited Away are all worth seeing at least once(with only Tales from Earthsea disappointing somewhat) and as great as Howl's Moving Castle and The Wind Rises are, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is the best since Spirited Away without being one of Ghibli's very finest.

It has and will alienate some viewers though, it is long, goes at a slow pace and elements of the story- for those unfamiliar with the old Japanese folktale it's based on- have gone and will go over people's heads. Neither of those however bothered me at all. The best things about The Tale of the Princess Kaguya are the animation and the music. The animation is just exquisite, Ghibli's best-looking since Spirited Away in which all their films since is the animation's the most consistently good asset of all of them, with everything looking so colourful and delicate and with an animation style quite unique to what's been seen before. Joe Hisaishi's music score is stirring, haunting and beautifully elegiac, it fits perfectly with the film's mood and is a wonderful score on its own, one that is guaranteed to have people rushing to find the CD if available and buy it.

The story is divisive but to me it worked just fine. It seems simple structurally but the film does much with it that it doesn't feel simple, what occurs is engaging, thought-provoking and incredibly touching while not trying to make things too complicated. What stood out was the ending, one that was completely unexpected but also one that is beautifully melancholic and emotionally heart-breaking. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya's thoughtfully scripted, has some elements of whimsy and flows well and while the characters are archetypal they still engage. The voice acting is very good, with the Japanese version even better than that. In the English dub, which for this viewer wasn't bored-sounding at all, Chloe Grace Moretz voices with a lot of spirit, James Caan is authoritative and Mary Steenburgen is sympathetic and dignified with her Narrator being the stronger of her two roles.

Overall, a stunning film, may alienate some but as seen will captivate most. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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