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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. Hols had a notoriously troubled production, with Toei telling Takahata he would never direct again.

Set in an ancient northern country, a young boy named Holsnote  (pictured on the left) 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 Hildanote  (also pictured on the right), 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.

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Though almost unknown outside of Japan (with the exception of Italy), Hols 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.

Discotek Media has managed to license the movie for a DVD release in the US, which was issued on December 23, 2014.


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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.
  • Broken Bird: Hilda's previous experiences have left her shattered.
  • The Catfish: The monstrous pike preventing the village from catching any fish.
  • Classically Trained Extra: The VA for Grunwald, the late Mikijirou Hira was a very famous stage and TV actor, known for his very popular Shakespeare roles.
  • Covers Always Lie: The Italian DVD cover features a noticeably older, blue-eyed, cape-donning Hols; and the silver wolf with red eyes.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Mohg Vs. the Ice Mammoth, it ends very quickly for the Ice Mammoth when Mohg pushes it from a cliff with no significant effort.
  • Cut-and-Paste Translation: All the international releases are fraught with these.
  • Crowd Song
  • Dark Magical Girl: Hilda is a mysterious young girl who bonds with main character Hols, but she turns out to have bonds with the Big Bad Grunwald, and as the story progresses she's more and more conflicted about her loyalties. She has to go through a Disney Death before getting fully better.
  • 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.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Hols (The Good) vs. Hilda (The Bad) and Grunwald (The Evil).
  • Heel–Face Turn: Hilda, after finding Flip and Koro buried in the snow.

Alternative Title(s): Horus Prince Of The Sun

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