Watch Princess Raccoon
- 1 hr 51 min
Princess Raccoon is a 2005 Japanese musical fantasy film directed by Seijun Suzuki and starring Ziyi Zhang, Joe Odagiri, and Hiroko Yakushimaru. The film tells the story of a young prince who falls in love with a beautiful princess who is actually a raccoon in disguise. Their love is tested by traditional rules and constraints, as well as outside forces seeking to harm them.
The story takes place in a fictional land where humans and animals coexist. The young prince, Amechiyo (played by Joe Odagiri), is the son of the King and a human mother. He goes on a hunting trip and ends up in a forest where he meets a beautiful young woman named Tanukihime (played by Ziyi Zhang). They fall in love, but Amechiyo soon discovers that Tanukihime is actually a raccoon transformed into human form by a sorcerer.
Despite this revelation, Amechiyo still loves Tanukihime and wishes to marry her. However, marriages between humans and animals are forbidden in their society, and this knowledge puts their love in danger. Meanwhile, Lord Minamoto (played by Mikijiro Hira), a powerful and cruel ruler, seeks to take over the kingdom and kill Amechiyo.
Tanukihime retreats to the Land of the Raccoons, where she meets with her Father Raccoon, a powerful and wise figure (played by Masanobu Ando). Her father tells her that she must obey the laws of the raccoon society and cannot marry Amechiyo, as their love is doomed.
As the story unfolds, Amechiyo and Tanukihime try to navigate around the obstacles put in their way by societal traditions and evil outside forces. They are aided by the Cat King, played by Hiroko Yakushimaru, who has mystical powers and symbolizes the opposite force of the raccoons' cultural background.
The film is a beautiful and whimsical piece of art, with superb attention to detail and remarkable visuals. For example, the costumes, sets and locations add a fantastic element to the story, creating an anime-like atmosphere that glows with Suzuki's creativity. The film also includes a number of catchy songs, which add to the feel-good nature of the story.
Ziyi Zhang, who achieved international fame with her roles in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha, performs brilliantly in Princess Raccoon. In this role, she is charming, playful, and full of spirit while still conveying the nuance of a powerful figure. The chemistry between her and Joe Odagiri is also effortless, making their love and struggle all the more heartwarming.
Overall, Princess Raccoon is a touching and whimsical film that explores the challenges that can lie in the way of love. Despite its fantastical elements, its message is universal, and the enchanting visuals and music ensure that anyone can appreciate it, regardless of age or background. Considering Suzuki's influence on international cinema, the film can be seen as an homage to the director's distinctive style, as well as a testament to the power of storytelling.