Database for Animation Studies


Utopian Expression and Significance of Dystopian Representation in Isao Takahata’s Films: “Hilda” and “Kaguya,” the Confrontation of Heroine Figures in the Two Girls

Over the 45 years from Isao Takahata’s first production work “The Great Adventure of Horus, Prince of the Sun” (1968) to “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” (2013), how has the image of young girls changed? This paper questions the true meaning and value of life to people in today’s society, by comparing the heroine image underlying the world view of the two films. At the same time, this means reading into the lives of the two young girls (Hilda and Kaguya), to seek utopian expressions and dystopian symbolism embedded in Takahata’s works. Furthermore, comparisons will be made between Princess Kaguya and Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausica., to cast stronger light on conflicts with modern society that Takahata’s works present. Through such attempts, the efforts of animation production to overcome the contradiction between artistic labor and industrial labor begin to speak eloquently of contradictions with reality. Ultimately, this will lead to uncovering the fact that animation works embody the “principle of hope” and aim to offer a ray of light to posterity, so we may review and rebuild our place of living.

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