The Peanut has not quite gotten to the age where we can watch Princess Mononoke with her — the battle between the spirits of the forest and the humans who want to take their lives is too visually brutal.  But I love this film.  The visuals, as always in a Miyazaki anime, are magical and stunning — and as close to a masterpiece in every frame as you can imagine.  Truly.  But, for my money, even better than the artwork in this particular film is the story and the accompanying musical score.  Amazing stuff.  (For a longer look at the film, try this.  Just gorgeous — well worth the rental if you have not seen it.)

As with a lot of Miyazaki's work, the environment and questions of abusing it versus caring for it with a level of reverence become a central theme.  This is also true for one of my favorites, Spirited Away, and Nausicaa, and Castle in the Sky, and My Neighbor Totoro, among many others. 

Since it is Sunday, I thought everyone could use a bit of a break and some fun.  I love all these films, and wanted to share a glimpse of them with everyone else.  Next gloomy day, you'll have something to look for at the video rental store.  And the best part is that they are intelligently written and are an opening for some excellent discussion with your kids, your family and friends.  Lots of questions, and no easy answers — which is just the sort of critical thinking that we need more of these days.

Enjoy.  And if you have a favorite anime or other film that you'd like to share with the rest of us, please do share in the comments below.

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com