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Anime / Horus: Prince of the Sun

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Horus: Prince of the Sun (Taiyou no Ouji Horusu no Daibouken; also known as Hols: 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. Horus had a notoriously troubled production, with Toei telling Takahata he would never direct again.

Set in an ancient northern country, a young boy named Horus 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. Ho Horus ls 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, Horus struggles to both protect the village and reforge the Sword.

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

Horus: Prince of the Sun provides examples of

  • Androcles' Lion: A variation with Mohg, who not only keeps his promise to Horus but also helps him defeat Grunwald.
  • Beautiful Singing Voice: Hilda is shown to have a beautiful singing voice, so much than other villagers stop working whenever she starts singing.
  • 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 Horus, and the silver wolf with red eyes.
  • Crowd Song: The villagers sing several songs celebrating a good harvest and the wedding to show the importance of community as opposed to the solitary, nihilistic songs sung by Hilda.
  • 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.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Hilda is a mysterious young girl who bonds with main character Horus, 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 Horus 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.
  • Filling the Silence: The French dub added screaming to the mob in Hilda's hallucination.
  • 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: Horus (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): Hols Prince Of The Sun