“Princess Kaguya” U.S. Release Trailer (English)

My intro to literature class has just finished the Heian era and is moving on to the Kamakura era. However, one of my students passed this English trailer for The Tale of Princess Kaguya to me:

There’s quite an interesting mix of stars (quote-unquote?) voicing the characters. A few who stand out are: James Caan, Lucy Liu, and Beau Bridges. Here’s some more detailed information from IMDB:

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

When it comes to foreign films, voice overs absolutely ruin it for me. As long as I am able to see and am able to read, I will always prefer subtitles. Voice overs are totally ridiculous–and I feel like they dumb it down (English audiences sometimes forget that other languages exist in the world). Also, hearing the script as read in the language the writer wrote it in is really important for a film to resonate with the audience. Dubbing a film into English with “voice actors” really butchers the script. Unless it’s old kung-fu movies–then I think the ridiculous dubbing has actually become ONE with the film! (Looking at you, Shaw Brothers!) I understand, though, that Ghibli & Disney are trying to appeal to a children-audience, so dubbing is pretty much a necessity.

Finally, I am not going to provide a link to Amazon, BUT you can find a paper version of this piece of Classical Japanese Literature pretty much anywhere books are sold. An English version (translated by Donald Keene) was published years ago.

ISBN is 477002329 , Kodansha Press, 1998. What’s cool about this version is that it is bilingual, Japanese/ English. Of course, the Japanese version in this edition is written in Modern Japanese, not  Classical Japanese that the tale was originally written in. So, this version is really accessible to people studying Japanese. Oh yeah, and it’s illustrated!

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