Hols: Prince of the Sun
(Taiyou no Ouji Horusu no Daibouken
; also known as Horus: Prince of the Sun
, The Little Norse Prince
, and Little Norse Prince Valiant
) is a 1968 Japanese animated film. It is best known for being an early work of Studio Ghibli
's most famous talents Isao Takahata
(who directed) and Hayao Miyazaki
(who did many key frames and contributed many ideas) from back when they worked at Toei Animation
had a notoriously troubled production, with Toei telling Takahata he would never direct again.
Set in an ancient northern country, a young boy named Hols embarks on a quest to defeat Grunwald, a demon who has destroyed countless villages, including his own. To do so, he must return to his father's people and reforge the ancient Sword of the Sun, which he pulls out of a resting rock golem named Mohg. Hols reaches his native village and meets Hilda, a girl similarly orphaned by Grunwald and subsequently cursed. With various forces turning the people against each other, Hols struggles to both protect the village and reforge the Sword.
Though almost unknown outside of Japan (with the exception of Italy
was immensely influential on anime as a whole and is considered a classic, pioneering the artistic role of the director, the value of cinematography and composition, and film production periods of over eight months
Tropes used in this movie include:
- Androcles Lion: A variation with Mohg, who not only keeps his promise to Hols, but also helps him defeat Grunwald.
- BFS: The Sword of the Sun.
- Big, Badass Wolf: The Silver Wolf.
- Broken Bird: Hilda.
- The Catfish: The monstrous pike preventing the village from catching any fish.
- Covers Always Lie: The Italian DVD cover features a noticeably older, blue-eyed, cape-donning Hols; and the silver wolf with red eyes.
- Cut-and-Paste Translation: All the international releases are fraught with these.
- Crowd Song
- Disney Death, combined with Redemption Equals Death: Hilda, although she does get better
- Doomed Hometown: The village where Hols and his father lived originally, destroyed before the events of the film. Hilda also claims to be from one.
- Evil Chancellor: Drago, to the village's chief.
- Ghibli Hills: Well, duh.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Although they're real (instead of the usual visual metaphor) and not angels, Chiro and Toto fill these respective roles for Hilda.
- Heel-Face Turn: Hilda, after finding Flip and Koro buried in the snow.
- An Ice Person: Grunwald
- Immortality Seeker: Hilda, until her Heel-Face Turn.
- Kill It with Fire: Since Grunwald's powers are ice-based, flaming arrows and bonfires contribute a lot in the final battle. The power of the sun is what wins it.
- Lull Destruction: The French dub added screaming to the mob in Hilda's hallucination.
- Mad Demon's Beautiful "Sister": Oh, Hilda.
- The Mole: Hilda
- No Export for You:
- The American English dub Little Norse Prince is available on Hulu, but there's no official Region 1 release with the original Japanese audio.
- Non-Human Sidekick:
- For Hols, Koro the bear.
- For Hilda, Chiro the squirrel and Toto the owl.
- Parental Abandonment: Hols's father dies in the first ten minutes, and his mother is never mentioned.
- Smug Snake: Drago and Toto.
- Snowlems: Grunwald attacks the village in the climax on a colossal mammoth made of ice.
- Spiritual Successor: Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky... Let's just save time here and say that pretty much half of the stuff Miyazaki made as a director was influenced by this film.
- Talking Animal:
- Koro the bear.
- Chiro the squirrel.
- Toto the owl.
- Trailers Always Spoil: The Japanese trailer spoiled the colossal ice mammoth and Hilda's Heel-Face Turn.
- Viking Funeral: Hols burns his former home, a wrecked ship, after his father dies.
- We Can Rule Together: Grunwald's offer to Hols.
- What the Hell, Townspeople?: Drago in particular.