1997. dir Hayao Miyazaki, starring Yôji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yûko Tanaka. Japanese with subtitles*.
Seen it before? No.
The plot summary is pretty much what Sam wrote but for a more clear and (frankly accurate version) I went to Wikipedia.
The visual effects were cool. The story was somewhat difficult to follow...especially since I was multi tasking and therefore wasn't reading all the captions that were at the bottom of the screen since Sam wanted to make our experience "authentic" and therefore that meant having to listen to the real Japanese actors reading their lines.
Ashitaka (a prince from the East) aka the hero
Lady Eboshi (the head of Iron Town who rescues women from working in brothels and is trying to create weapons that surpass China's weaponry) aka the antagonist
San/Princess Mononoke (the wolf princess who has renounced humans and whose mission it is to save the earth's natural resources) aka the protagonist
a variety of townspeople
Shishigami (the god who can restore life or take it away) aka the Deer God
Moro aka the Wolf God
Okkoto aka the Boar God
Kodama (the little mushroom looking wooden creatures)
I'm sure that there is something lost in translation but the film can be construed as one of two things:
a) a beautifully created anime fantasy masterpiece
b) a political message about what will happen if humans continue to misuse/destroy natural resources for their own wealth or rather the struggle between nature and industry.
Would I see it again? Sure, but this time maybe in English so I CAN multi task!!!
Would I add it to my collection? I'm not a huge fan of anime so probably not.