Let me just quote the woman I overheard as I was leaving the early showing of Studio Ghibli's The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. "The movie was good, but too long."

It was a phenomenal effort from Studio Ghibli's second in command, Isao Takahata. He doesn't get the same accolade's as Miyazaki, but he is just as good an animator. It was an amazing animated film. In this day and age of CG animation, Takahata stuck to traditional hand drawn animation. Not just regular hand drawn -- he did the film in a style that can only be called drawing. It looked like a Bill Plimpton animated film. The pencil lines shown through, and the colors all pastel like crayon. It was exhilarating to look at. Here is art. Especially in the sequence where the Princess escapes from her the jail that her home in the city had become. It was a fluid sequence, and very dynamic. It was one of the best sequences I've seen in an animated film in a long while. It ranks up there with the breathless ride of the Valkyries on the ocean waves from Ponyo.

This is a film to see. Too bad it will only show in the US in very few cinemas. Catch it if you can.

4 of 5 stars.

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