As soon as I heard that Studio Ghibli were putting production together for a story as famous as The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, I knew I had to see it. Growing up on the quirky and relatable characters in Kiki's Delivery Service, to the fantastic visuals of Castle in The Sky, Studio Ghibli never fails to disappoint with their use of musical score, lighting, themes of adolescence, love of nature and companionship. Needless to say, this film did not disappoint.
True to the folktale, the plot centers on a bamboo cutter, who comes across a bamboo shoot filled with glowing light. Within that bamboo
stalk is a tiny girl the size of his palm which he and his wife come to care for. This girl, aptly named takenoko "little bamboo" becomes the center character as the plot revolves around her growth and experiences with the bamboo cutter, his wife and all manner of colorful characters throughout the film.
The plot is, simply put, solid. Easy to understand in its presentation, yet intriguing enough to keep us expecting more. The ending in particular was one of intrigue as it expands on kaguya's origins.
Simple yet touching as far as folk tales are concerned, the characters in Tale of Princess Kaguya are instantly charming. Kaguya herself is particularly well done as we view her change from outgoing tomboy to poised princess, and her struggle to commit to either role. The bamboo cutter exhibits all the traits of a loving father, wanting what is best for his daughter and ultimately being overbearing but with the best of intentions. Secondary characters add additional flavor and humorous elements to the story that ultimately, by the stories end, leave you with a greater appreciation of the every day simplicities they presented.
Who Is This For?
I would say if you love folk tales adapted into film, you will enjoy this. Its adherence to the source material and it's overall presentation is very timeless. If you are a lover of Isao Takahata directed works or Ghibli, you may also want to check this out.
Did You Enjoy It?
I very much loved it. It took me on an adventure that chronicled a young girls life. You went through her insecurities, her laughter, her sadness and her love. It was fun becoming engrossed in what was a simpler time in japanese history.
Sweet of it:
Musical Score is perfection when matched with accompanying scenes
Art conveys the simple yet timelessness of the folklore Taketori Monogatari
Bitter of it:
No folklore can have a complete happy ending.