Global Warming and Environmental Degradation: Princess Monoke by Hayao Miyazaki

Global Warming and Environmental Degradation: Princess Monoke by Hayao Miyazaki

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In the wake of global warming and environmental degradation, many media outlets are focusing on ways to alert the public to sustain the planet. In “Princess Mononoke,” the film aesthetically creates a complex socio-cultural world in where the audience is force to weigh in on complex questions about our nature and how we treat the planet. The film follows Ashitaka as he journeys from his home village to western Japan to find answers to his impending doom. His quest soon leads him to the industrious fort of “Irontown,” and he finds himself the middle of a deadly battle between humans and spirits. “Princess Mononoke” depicts a sublime story of a devastating war on humans against nature and challenges the audience to find the real-world application in it.
Princess Mononoke setting highlights evolving social conquests and how it affects the environment. The film takes place during around 15th century mythical Japan and most of the populace is rural and industry is just starting to proliferate. The film depicts the duality of humanity as pre and post industrial. For instance, The Emishi village represents the pre-industrial age of Japan that is against the modern age of consumerism and globalization. The villagers live in a sustainable manner in which they utilize the resources around them. However, Irontown is an industrious fort clouded with the smog of greed and money. In Irontown, Humanity is depicted as famish, power hungry beasts that have a voracious appetite for resources. The Emishi village has grown to live one with the spirits while, Irontown is hell bent to bend the forces of nature to their will for precious natural resources. What Irontown can gain from defeating the forest spirit would be to conquer the land from other i...

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...rests but, “Princess Mononoke’s principal strength lies is in asking the audience to think about compassion for the poor and disenfranchised in tandem with care for nature,” (29). In the movie the opposing sides were carefully assigned; however, condemning one side in favor for the other is out of the question because there is certain good to each side. To compare this environmental kid movie to others like “Over the Hedge” is that Princess Mononoke challenges the audience to understand the motivation behind both sides and to find a way to integrate each side sustainably.

Works Cited

Smith, Michelle J., and Elizabeth Parsons. "Animating Child Activism: Environmentalism And Class Politics In Ghibli's Princess Mononoke (1997) And Fox's Fern Gully (1992)." Continuum: Journal Of Media & Cultural Studies 26.1 (2012): 25-37. Academic Search Complete. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.

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