“The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”: Bamboo kids these days grow up so fast

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“The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” opens Friday at Sundance Cinemas. PG, 2:17, three and a half stars out of four.

The animation in “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” is created using cutting-edge 21st-century tools — pen, pencil, a splash from a watercolor brush. The latest offering from Japan’s treasure of an animation house, Studio Ghibli, emphasizes its hand-drawn marvels even more than “From Up on Poppy Hill” or “Spirited Away.” This really feels like a storybook come to life.

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The five movies you have to see in Madison: Dec. 12-18, 2014

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Pick of the week: The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” (all week, Sundance) — Studio Ghibli’s latest hand-drawn masterpiece looks like a beloved storybook come to life, as Isao Takahata (“Grave of the Fireflies”) tells the ancient Japanese fable about a little girl found inside a bamboo shoot who grows into a mysterious princess. In a very nice idea, the 1:20 p.m. show each day will be dubbed into English with Chloe Grace Moretz, James Caan and others providing voices, while the remaining shows will be subtitled. I’ll have a review up on Friday.

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