Like many movies from famed Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli, Princess Mononoke boasts a passionate fan following across the globe, despite being released some twenty long years ago, in 1997. The anime epic is widely regarded as one of the studio's premier works, telling the tale of man versus nature in a narrative that is equal parts heartwarming, tragic and beautiful.
Since Princess Mononoke's original release, the rise of the world wide web and the ease of buying goods from overseas has meant that the film has continued to slowly expand its audience - especially in the West - as both anime veterans and newcomers who wouldn't know their Totoro from their Naruto discover and enjoy the wonders of Hayao Miyazaki. With 2017 marking the movie's 20th anniversary, GKIDS - Studio Ghibli's American distributors - were sure to mark the occasion somehow and give something special to the film's loyal fan base and those suspicions have now been confirmed.
In order to celebrate both the anniversary and Miyazaki's birthday, Princess Mononoke will receive a special two-night-only cinematic release across select theaters in the United States. Presented by GKIDS and Fathom Events, these screenings will take place on January 5th and 9th, with the showing on the 5th playing the movie in Japanese with English subtitles and the showing on the 9th screening the movie with the full English dub. As a unique bonus for those in attendance, viewers will also get to see a rare 1995 music video directed by Hayao Miyazaki for Japanese band Chage & Aska's song 'On Your Mark'. Tickets can be purchased at www.fathomevents.com or by visiting the box office of participating theaters - a full list of which can be found on the Fathom Events website.
Speaking about the events, Fathom's CEO John Rubey says:
“We are pleased to be partnering again with GKIDS to bring another of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s animated classics to cinemas across the country. Following in the footsteps of ‘Spirited Away: 15th Anniversary,’ ‘Princess Mononoke’ is set to be another fan-favorite Fathom event.”
With screenings limited to two dates only and demand sure to be high, the event is sure to be a unique occasion and is the perfect way to not only celebrate an animation classic but also to pay homage to Miyazaki himself: the genius behind so many classics such as Spirited Away - a movie that also saw a cinematic re-release this month to celebrate its 15th anniversary.
Indeed, many fans of Princess Mononoke are unlikely to have ever actually seen the movie on the big screen, due to Studio Ghibli's more gradual rise in popularity in Western countries. As such, seeing the stunning animation in full silver screen glory is likely to be an unmissable event for Ghibli followers and may even provide an opportunity for fans to introduce their friends and relatives to the anime epic.
With the 75 year old Miyazaki now semi-retired, Princess Mononoke's re-release is unlikely to be much consolation for the many fans desperately hoping for new movies from the revered animation director. However, with such a rich and celebrated body of work on his C.V., it's only right that the movie industry celebrate the work of man who some see as the greatest animation filmmaker of all time.
Princess Mononoke will be re-released in selected U.S. theaters on January 5th (subtitled) and 9th (dubbed).