Origin: Spirits of the past (12A)

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The Independent Culture

Japanese animators must get frustrated by the way their work is overshadowed by, and compared to, that of Hayao Miyazaki (of Spirited Away fame).

But this eco-themed science-fiction tale, set on a future Earth where civilisation has been all but obliterated by conscious, hostile forests, feels like a riff on Miyazaki's nature fable Princess Mononoke and his post-apocalyptic Castle in the Sky.

The nature-vs-machine theme is taken up by the animation – people and trees are drawn; machines are computer-generated, and don't quite fit in the landscape. The result is messy, occasionally beautiful, with some striking images of men consumed by trees; but on the whole this movie is, perhaps, best left to the hardcore SF/anime buff.