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|The Little Norse Prince
|Taiyo no Oji - Hols no Daiboken
|Movie,82 mins, 1968. The Optimum DVD has mono sound.
|In the opening sequence, the boy Hols fights off a pack of wolves
and, losing his axe, makes a final stand atop a rock which turns
out to be a slumbering Rock Giant. He pulls a blade out of the
Rock Giant - the Sword of the Sun. If re-forged, the sword's
destiny will transform the boy into the Prince of the Sun.
Hols, last survivor of a village destroyed by the frost demon Grunwald, takes refuge at a village threatened by Grunwalds's magic. He befriends Hilda, a lonely girl with a beautiful singing voice, but falls out of favour with the villagers as Hilda is revealed to have a dark secret.
|This is the debut feature of Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies,
Pom Poko) and is less known than the movies from the Studio Ghibli
stable. It first appeared in 1968 (39 years ago!) and has recently
been released by Optimum Asia.
I was expecting some rather outdated "classic" and was pleasantly surprised that this movie exceeded my expectations. The dramatic opening sequence, in which the boy Hols fights off a pack of wolves and, losing his axe, makes a final stand atop a rock which turns out to be a slumbering Rock Giant, sets the marker for what is to follow.
The movie has impressive animation, well realised characters and settings, powerful and touching themes, and some fine music. Particularly pleasing is that the village seems to have a life of its own, including fish-drying and a wedding, and is not just a backdrop for the main action.
Overall the movie seems surprisingly modern, and in fact I'd rate it above one or two of the more recent Studio Ghibli output.
|Director: Isao Takahata
Scenario: Kazuo Fukazawa
Music: Michio Mamiya
Character Design: Yoichi Kotabe
Art Director: Mataji Urata
Animation Director: Yasuo Otsuka
Concept Artist: Hayao Miyazaki
|See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.
|References & Help
|Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.