"An old man makes a living by selling bamboo. One day, he finds a princess in a bamboo. The princess is only the size of a finger. Her name is Kaguya. When Kaguya grows up, 5 men from prestigious families propose to her. Kaguya asks the men to find memorable marriage gifts for her, but the 5 men are unable to find what Kaguya wants. Then, the Emperor of Japan proposes to her."
We've finally received an official domestic trailer for The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (yes, it seems they added a second and completely unnecessary "the" into the title...) with just less than a month to go before its limited theatrical release. It was worth the delay because I'd go so far as to say this is the best trailer for any Ghibli film ever.
Last month a teaser was released, clocking in at under a minute, but it still took my breath away by going full horror on unsuspecting viewers. It's worth noting because a large portion of that teaser has been supplanted into this trailer, terror fully in tact. Ghibli legend Joe Hisaishi's score is chilling and foreboding, unlike anything we've heard from him in the past. And then, after building its brooding mood up through the 1:30 mark, the uneasiness is alleviated with a majestic insurgence of traditional Ghibli tactics. The color palette becomes brighter, Hisaishi's music becomes lighter and we are privy to sweeping views over the natural world that Kaguya's lives in harmony with.
The visuals on display are out of this world and unlike the fully detailed hand-drawing we've come to associate with the Studio. The closest touchstone is Isao Takahata's own My Neighbors the Yamadas. The film looks like a giant charcoal painting scroll endowed with pastels. There's plenty of sections unrolled for our viewing pleasure in this trailer, including what I can only assume is the beginning with the bamboo cutter, but with the final product clocking in at over 2 hours there's still so much we haven't yet seen.
Disney has done a remarkable job distributing most of the Ghibli catalog in North America, but GKIDS makes yet another case for their occasional involvement (anytime the film at hand is not as family friendly I suppose). This trailer also gives us our first snippets of the American dub featuring Chloë Grace Moretz (as Kaguya), James Caan and Lucy Liu. What do you think of this trailer for The Tale of The Princess Kaguya? Share your thoughts in the comments below. This highly anticipated film hits select theaters on October 17th.