3. Princess Mononoke
Hayao Miyazaki’s sweeping epic of Gods, men, and animals may be the single greatest animated film of all time (its only competition being Miyazaki’s other masterpieces). It is also one of the lushest, most awe-inspiring visual experiences ever committed to celluloid, and having had the opportunity to view it on a brand new 35mm print recently, I can attest to the fact that Mononoke defines the term ‘big screen experience.’ It is, simply put, one of the most gorgeous feats of artistry in cinematic history.
With that in mind, I believe it would be a wonderful fit for IMAX. Imagine what a glorious opportunity it would be to study Studio Ghibli’s wondrous animation at that size, in such a pristine format. While blowing the film up to such dimensions would undoubtedly reveal those few minor flaws that exist in the cel animation process, it would also showcase the artistry of Miyazaki and his team like never before.
Princess Mononoke also features incredibly powerful sound design, the kind that would translate flawlessly to IMAX’s bombastic, one-of-a-kind surround systems. This is one of the greatest movies ever made, and if Ghibli would one day like to give IMAX a try, Princess Mononoke is undoubtedly the place to start.
2. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
I find it hard to believe that the opportunity to re-release Peter Jackson’s landmark trilogy on IMAX has not been exploited over the last decade. Few movies scream ‘big-screen epic’ like The Lord of the Rings, and given the trilogy’s intense popularity, it seems like an IMAX run – even a limited one – would be a major commercial success.
But alas, The Lord of the Rings has never appeared in IMAX, and the world is poorer for it. These are not only my very favorite films of all time, but some of the grandest feats of physical filmmaking ever attempted.
Few cinematic landscapes are as lush as Middle Earth, played with astonishing natural beauty by the country of New Zealand. Meanwhile, Jackson’s unprecedented battle scenes – such as the iconic siege of Helm’s Deep – practically feel born for the overwhelming IMAX format. And the impossibly rich sound design – featuring Howard Shore’s singularly brilliant film score – would be a revelation in IMAX.
With The Hobbit coming out later this year – in IMAX, no less – a re-release for the original trilogy does not seem particularly far-fetched. Summer 2013, perhaps? I would buy my tickets this very second were they available.
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