All people have the ability to turn their fantasies into reality.
“What am I really capable of doing?” “Why am I here, and why am I doing this?” These are the kinds of doubts and anxieties that everyone feels at one time or another during his or her life. But after seeing Princess Arete, people will feel like sweeping away all the constraints that bind them. Arete has been born princess, and in the midst of an environment that places limitations on her and where she is unable to have any self-confidence, she learns to believe in herself, encourage herself, and seek out possibilities as she discovers her true self. As a representative of one placed in an unsatisfactory environment, Princess Arete reflects the loneliness and isolation of contemporary people who have not discovered the meaning of their lives. Unlike such a passive princesses as Cinderella and Snow White, she does not merely wait for a prince to rescue her. Instead, she represents the birth of a new type of active heroine, one who uses her will to blaze her own path into future. This incorporates the director's insistent message that “All people have the ability to turn their fantasies into reality.” This tale is an adventure of the heart, and the director hopes that everyone in every generation, whether children or adults, who is confused about his or her identity or trying to figure out what to do, will see it.
This film is set in the medieval period.
Princesses Arete is shut away in a small room at the top of a castle tower, and she does not show herself in front of other people. Her lot in life is to stay there as a pure maiden until the man who be her bridegroom eventually appears.
Yet,as Princess Arete looks down from her tower window upon the people living in the castle town, she ponders the meaning of life. One day, she learns about an escape hatch from reading an old book, sneaks out of the castle, and heads for the town. The castle town turns out to be a world of skilled workers. The sight of each one of them creating meaningful objects with their own hands seems like magic to her. She has never imagined that people's hands contained such possibilities, and she begins to wonder what possibilities lie in her own hands.
Dir / Scr. : Sunao Katabuchi
Producer : Eiko Tanaka
Character Designer : Satoko Morikawa
Animation Director : Kazutaka Ozaki
Art Director : Minoru Nishida
CGI Director : Keisuke Sasagawa
Colorist : Akiko Hayashi
Audio Director : Hiroyuki Hayase
Editor : Takeshi Seyama
Produced by Beyond C., Dentsu, Shogakukan, IMAGICA, Omega Project