Normally, I try to fight the current of today’s film remake trend. It has been overdone and it has led to some disappointing movies that no one would watch if it weren’t for the nostalgia factor. However, this amazing art piece by Tianhua Xu, a concept artist from Chinese studio ChiYan Workshop, has made me seriously reconsider my stand on the remake of one of my favorite films of all time.
There is always that daydream we have about our favorite animated movies, a small illusion about what they would look like if they were remade today into live action films. Would they look exactly as how we imagined, only darker tones and killer special effects? Would it kick us right in the nostalgia bone and become another one of our favorites? The risk is high and the pay off might not be so great.
In my previous article, I mentioned my top 5 favorite non-Disney animated films and I placed Princess Mononoke in my number one spot (sorry if it’s a spoiler, but you can still go check it out). I have often wondered how incredible Miyazaki’s film would look nowadays remade into live action, with the special effects of the forest, the savage demons, and mystical gods portrayed, and how gritty and miserable the mining town could look.
From Tianhua Xu’s fan art, I could maybe get on board with this idea. The redesign stays true to the style and spirit of the film, but adds that edge to it, that sense of reality that could play really well in Princess Mononoke. While the movie is full of fantastical elements, it is still graphic and mainly centered around human interactions and their perspectives of the forest and its value.
I have no doubt Princess Mononoke could easily translate into a live action film, even if it’s loaded with CGI. But do we want it to? The daydream is fun and all, but a big part of me doesn’t want Hollywood to come anywhere near it. Some films are timeless, just the way their visionaries intended them to be.
For more of Xu’s art, click here to visit his ArtStation page.
Yet, for the sake of daydreaming, here's some other amazing fan artwork depicting a more realistic Princess Mononoke.
By sakimichan at deviantart
By sanguisGelidus at deviantart
By kerko at deviantart