Program

Retrospective

Little Norse Prince Valiant

Japan

1968

Introduction

Horus, who lived with his father near the sea, picked up the two swords that were stuck in rock man Moog’s shoulder. Moog told Horus that this sword is called the Sword of the Sun, and when he has trained to use it, Horus will be known as the Prince of the Sun. When Horus lost his father, he set fire to everything he had, and swearing never to return, he sailed north with his friend Coro to a village where the people lived according to his father’s will. On the way, the demon Grunwald invited him to become his brother, and on his refusal, Grunwald threw Horus off a cliff. Horus fell into the icy waters below, which carried him to the village. Horus thought the villagers accepted him as one of their own, but the girl Hilda, who was led to the village by Grunewald’s trickery,
aroused the villager’s distrust of Horus, and he was finally driven out. It seemed that the demon would win, but in the depths of Hilda’s heart, there was a sign of a longing for humanity. And then the devil’s attack began…

 

©東映

Director

Isao Takahata

Born in 1935 in Mie Prefecture, Japan. After graduating from The University of Tokyo with a degree in French literature, he joined Toei Animation Company. He debuted as a director with the animated TV series KEN, THE WILD BOY (1963 – 1965), and directed his first animated feature film, THE LITTLE NORSE PRINCE VALIANT (1968). He left Toei in 1971 and worked at various studios and directed TV series including HEIDI A GIRL OF THE ALPS (1974), MARCO, FROM THE APENNINES TO THE ANDES (1976), and ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (1979), and feature films such as DOWNTOWN STORY (1981) and GAUCHE THE CELLIST (1981).

Takahata co-founded Studio Ghibli in 1985 with Hayao Miyazaki, and has directed five feature films since: GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES (1988), ONLY YESTERDAY (1991), POM POKO (1994), which received the Feature Film Prize at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in 1995, MY NEIGHBORS THE YAMADAS (1999), which was chosen by The Museum of Modern Art in New York for its film collection, the first Japanese animated feature film to be so honored, and his latest film, THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA (2013), nominated for the 2014 Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature. He served as producer for Hayao Miyazaki’s films NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (1984) and CASTLE IN THE SKY (1986), and artistic producer for Michael Dudok de Wit’s THE RED TURTLE (2016).

In 1998, Takahata received Japan’s Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon. He was awarded with the Honorific Leopard at the 2009 Locarno International Film Festival and the Special Cristal Award for lifetime achievement at the 2014 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. In April 2015, He received the “Officier” of the Order of Arts and Letters, France. He received the 2015 Winsor McCay Award of the Annie Awards. On April 5, 2018, Takahata passed away at the age of 82.