YMMV / Princess Mononoke

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Lady Eboshi motivated more by an altruistic desire to help the downtrodden people of Iron Town who are shunned by normal society, or by a selfish ambition to make Iron Town prosperous and wealthy at the cost of completely destroying the environment surrounding it?
  • Animation Age Ghetto:
    • Claire Danes (the voice of San in the English version) comments in the DVD's special features that she came into the film expecting it to be a children's movie.
    • Quite a few of the actors go on about how it felt like a real movie and not an animated one.
  • Anvilicious: In a graceful, powerful, heartfelt way.
  • Awesome Music: The whole album, by Joe Hisaishi no less, particularly the hauntingly beautiful main theme, "Legend of Ashitaka".
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Fans are split over Claire Danes as San in the English dub. Half feels she is too whiny - the Unshaved Mouse saying she felt more like a Valley Girl throwing a tantrum. The other half felt she brought a refreshing degree of anger and aggression that was absent in the Japanese dub.
    • The antagonists, Jigo and Lady Eboshi, are quite divisive. Some enjoy them due to their likable traits (Jigo being genuinely friendly towards Ashitaka and Eboshi taking care of the lepers), others are frustrated by them being Karma Houdinis who get away scot-free despite their atrocious actions.
  • Broken Base: Other Ghibli dubs have fallen into this atmosphere, but viewers can't seem to decide if the Miramax/Disney dub is good in its own right or a watered down travesty to the original Japanese. Purists stubbornly declare it's the latter, but there are fans of the English dub.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The Forest Spirit and the kodama, thanks to their very distinctive and memorable designs.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Seeing the Nightwalker for the first time is sure to draw this from some people. Even more so during its final rampage after being beheaded, where it dwarfs all of Iron Town.
  • Love to Hate: Jigo is a rat, but his Affably Evil demeanor makes him very fun to watch.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Jigo's warriors cross it when they use the normal soldiers of Iron Town as bait to lure the boars up, before raining bombs down on them once they get in range, killing human and boar alike.
    • San's biological parents throwing her to Moro just so they could escape themselves. Parental Abandonment taken to the extreme.
  • Narm:
    • Ashitaka rips off the arms of a samurai and beheads two more over the course of the film, with fired arrows. It is intended to make his curse more sinister, but it's also nearly bloodless and almost funny. Maybe done intentionally.
    • "MY ARRRRRRRRRRRRRM!!"
    • "FOREST SPIRIT! WE GIVE YOU BACK YOUR HEAD! TAKE IT! AND BE AT PEACE!"
    • "I didn't know the Forest Spirit made the flowers grow." Um, why wouldn't you think that?
  • Narm Charm: That line from Ashitaka, whether in Japanese or English is awesome! And many find the one about the Forest Spirit making the flowers grow to be legitimately touching.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The apes look legitimately creepy when they first appear, due to being shadowy black beings with glowing red eyes. Then they talk in Hulk Speak, which ruins the creep factor for some.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Ron the Death Eater: In the movie, Lady Eboshi is a morally complex anti-villain. In the fanfics, she's usually either the devil incarnate, a slut, or the Alpha Bitch.
  • Signature Scene: The most iconic image in the film is undoubtedly that of San standing across the river, staring defiantly at Ashitaka with blood covering her face, with Moro standing behind her and growling. It even made it onto the poster.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Lindsey Ellis, a professed fan of the movie and whose first video review was of Pocahontas, once said that this movie was the movie Disney wanted to make but didn't have the delicacy to do properly.
  • Stoic Woobie: Ashitaka learns that he is cursed both to die and to go mad with hatred in the process - something he only learns in the first ten minutes of the film. Yet he remains the moral presence that charms the others with his purity.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • Moro, the Canis Major god who's voiced by Gillian Anderson in the English dub.
    • Okkoto as well, especially considering how brutally drawn out his death is.
  • Ugly Cute: The Kodama. Weird, haniwa-esque facial "expressions" and occasionally shake and rattle their heads, yet oddly cute at the same time.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Proof that Tropes Are Not Bad, the Unshaved Mouse cited the fact that Ashitaka is so moral, selfless, compassionate, unprejudiced and brave still works in the story - especially up against the other wildly grey figures in the movie. And it doesn't stop him being a badass.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Easily one of Miyazaki's best-looking movies, from the background paintings which do the film's Green Aesop incredible justice to the gracefully fluid character animation, especially on multiple quadrupedal characters, which are notoriously hard to animate, and the demons which not only have multiple limbs but countless undulating appendages covering their bodies.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Sure, it's a Ghibli movie. So is Grave of the Fireflies. A lot of kids were traumatized by this movie when their parents took them to see it because Pokémon came out in America at around the same time. So logically, they'd love another Japanime type skit, right? There were reports of more than one parent storming out with their kid at the first decapitation and older kids and teens roped into watching it with their younger siblings cheering at the very same part.
  • Woolseyism:
    • The script for the English dub, adapted by Neil Gaiman no less. He cheerfully admits to freely changing several jokes and other cultural references that would not have been understood (or at least not without lengthy explanations) outside of Japan, while adapting the lines to precisely match the characters' mouth movements. Nonetheless this was all done in a spirit of almost reverent faithfulness to the original. That said, a number of detractors insist that his script was a complete butchery of the original.
    • Billy Crudup makes numerous lines of Ashitaka into soft whispers each time he threatens someone and adds a hefty dose of Tranquil Fury to his tone. This sharply contrasts with flat and normally voiced delivery of Yôji Matsuda for the same parts, even if they say exactly the same things.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Billy Bob Thornton as Jigo has been a head-scratching choice for years. He reportedly took the role thinking it was a children's film, so his own could watch it.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/PrincessMononoke