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'The Tale of Princess Kaguya' is a near masterpiece

'Kaguya,' an animated film from Japan's Studio Ghibli, is a marvel that is lyrical and heartbreaking in ways that most live-action movies never approach.

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The finest animated movies in the world consistently come from Japan’s Studio Ghibli, cofounded by the great Hayao Miyazaki and the far lesser-known (in the West) Isao Takahata, whose new film, “The Tale of Princess Kaguya,” is a near masterpiece.

Based on a venerable Japanese folk tale about a magical baby, found by a peasant in a bamboo shoot, who grows into a headstrong princess, this delicate, hand-drawn marvel is lyrical and heartbreaking in ways that most live-action movies never approach. Grade: A (Rated PG for thematic elements, some violent action, and partial nudity.)

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