From Studio Ghibli and Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies) comes this hand-drawn animated film, an adaptation of a Japanese folk tale, sketched out like a series of exquisite watercolors. An elderly bamboo-cutter finds a mysterious tiny child in the stalk of a tree, and raises her to be a princess. But the lively girl would rather play in the woods, reveling in the changing seasons and the uncomplicated companionship of the country folk. Instead, as a princess, she is virtually imprisoned, in a huge mansion and by social mores. Children will enjoy the beautifully realized film, with its antics, quests and sympathetic central character, but its deeper and bittersweet themes about sacrifice, loss and purity of purpose will resonate most with adults. The film has been nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature.