Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Princess Mononoke + A Full Moon Hike = Kids Off the Couch

The moon was full last night, glowing boldly and beckoning us to come out and play. Our favorite thing to do when this mood strikes is to go on a Full Moon Hike. Tromping along, with pathways and clearings lit from above, our imaginations run wild and soon we are gripping each others' hands in fear and excitement. The forest is truly otherworldly in the soft night air. If forests are enchanted, then every tree has a bit of magic. In Princess Mononoke, a film by Japanese animé master Hayao Miyazaki, a prince and princess fight alongside animals to save the forest from human encroachment. The spirit world mingles with ours, animals and humans are allied and good conquers evil. The film's strong environmental message and stunning visuals kept our tweens and teens on the edge of their seats, and they loved that the story unfolded unpredictably. (The film imparts a cosmic justice that may be intense for younger viewers). Our kids were truly enchanted by Miyazaki, and have an animé film festival planned for our family vacation. Click here to learn more about two other films which are good for Younger Viewers: Miyazaki's latest film, Ponyo, that will be released in August, and Ferngully: The Last Rainforest. We'll also help you find out when the moon will next be full.