The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Director: Isao Takahata
Year Released: 2013
Rating: 2.0

A bamboo cutter is shocked to find a little tiny girl growing in a magical stalk, so he takes her home to raise and nurture with his wife ... until he finds more glowing stalks filled with expensive robes and gold which he uses to turn her into a Princess. The animation is gorgeous - luscious watercolor-esque backgrounds, not unlike Ernest and Celestine - however once the movie shifts from the woods (peasantry is given more favorable light than nobility) to the city, it becomes severely protracted and loses its sense of fun and adventure as five princes try to prove their worth to Kaguya and marry her (history viewed through the current feminist spectrum has the men acting like buffoons ... she marries none of them and laughs them off). The romantic aspect of the story (and its sole source of a pulse) - between Kaguya and true love Sutemaru - gets dashed in a bummer of an ending when she leaves the people of Japan (and her adoptive parents) on a floating cloud with Buddha. So much for those lousy earthly delights....