14. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
While this notoriously expensive film flopped at the box office, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya was well-received by critics, and for good reason. Adapting a famed folk tale, the film is animated in style befitting its origins, creating the sense that the viewer has fallen into a some traditional Japanese painting. But the movie is not as pastel as its colors indicate—the storytelling is bold. It doesn’t sit in the past, instead feeling remarkably current in the fable of a princess imprisoned by seemingly everyone and everything, without ever feeling worn or heavy-handed. Mystical and fantastical elements are both woven into the foundation of the story and come alive in key moments, keeping the film compelling (for the most part) throughout its two hour+ run time.
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