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Studio Ghibli’s ‘Princess Mononoke’ inspired the creatures of ‘Kong: Skull Island’

They need to inspire awe—and a little bit of fear.


Sarah Weber

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 3, 2017   Updated on May 25, 2021, 1:54 am CDT

The 1999 Studio Ghibli film Princess Mononoke paints a rich natural world, where huge animal spirit gods are the rulers of their domain. 

The awe they inspire is exactly what filmmakers wanted to replicate when designing the creatures for the upcoming Kong: Skull Island film, according to producer Alex Garcia. In an interview with JoBlo, Garcia discussed the movie, which sees a team return to Skull Island, home of King Kong and myriad other gigantic creatures. 

“The creatures are a big thing. Jurassic World obviously owns the dinosaur thing right now. If Kong is the God of this island, we wanted each of the creatures to feel like they’re individual gods of their own domain. Miyazaki and Princess Mononoke was actually a big reference in the way that the spirit creatures sort of have their own domains and fit within that. A big thing was trying to design creatures that felt realistic and could exist in an ecosystem that feels sort of wild and out there, and then also design things that simultaneously felt beautiful and horrifying at the same time. Where if you look at this giant spider or water buffalo, you stare at, a part of you says, ‘that’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen’ and ‘oh my god, that’s going to kill me right now, I need to run for my life!'”

When it comes to inspiration, you can certainly do worse than emulate Princess Mononoke‘s legendary director Hayao Miyazaki. Garcia went into further detail on the mythology behind Skull Island and the film’s story in the interview, which you can read here

Kong: Skull Island will be in theaters March 10. 

H/T GeekTyrant

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*First Published: Feb 3, 2017, 12:58 pm CST