The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Amy Ratelle

An analysis of the significance of human-animal conflict in Princess Mononoke

incess Mononoke (Hiyao Miyazaki, 1997) is a complex film in which history and mythology brush uncomfortably against one another. Set in feudal Japan, it ostensibly chronicles the ongoing battle between industrial progress and nature. On closer inspection, however, the film is far more ambivalent. This paper investigates Miyazaki’s portrayal of the antagonistic relationship between the humans in Irontown and the animal gods who live in and guard the nearby forest. Key scenes of the film will be examined in terms of the convergence of cultural and economic factors contributing to the ongoing war between humans and animals, and how the ambiguous ending of the film undermines specifically Western notions of the nature of progress.

Biographical statement:
AMY RATELLE is currently a PhD candidate of the Joint Programme in Communication and Culture at York University and Ryerson University. Her dissertation focuses on animal issues and animality in children's literature, film and television. She holds a BFA in Film Studies from Ryerson University and a MA in Film Studies from Carleton University.