Set to Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, Legend of the Forest is a voiceless tale of human encroachment into the forests and its furry and feathered inhabitants. With only a chainsaw, one man will destroy families and lives for his own selfish gain, and the citizens of the forest will never be the same. Join the varied cast of birds, trees, squirrels, gnomes and fairy folk as they struggle to survive in their dying homeland...
In modern Japan, Tokyo is expanding and considerably reducing animals' habitats, including those of the tanuki (raccoon-like creatures). What humanity doesn't know, though, is that tanuki are intelligent creatures, that can talk and even walk on two legs with the power of transformations! To secure their survival, the two combating tanuki clans join forces against mankind in a war they dub 'Pom Poko'! Humans are a difficult adversary, though... can the tanuki open mankind's eyes to the beauty of nature, before their homes are replaced by yet another suburb?
Pompoko and Mori no Densetsu are very similar, as in both of them, forests are destroyed and animals take the initiative to save their territory by their own means. In Pompoko, this takes the shape of Japanese folklore and fantastic abilities, whereas in Mori, the story stays more realistic.
Both Pom Poko and Legend of the Forest depict the struggle of nature against humans encroaching on its domain, so if you enjoyed that theme in one, you may enjoy the other.
With the rise of the Iron Age in feudal Japan, man and nature grow increasingly at odds. As mankind infringes more and more into the kingdom of the beasts, many of the elder animal gods begin to succumb to their rage, cursing themselves as they lash out at rural and urban settlements alike. When a young Ashitaka, hero of his village, is imparted with one of these curses after slaying a crazed god, he forces himself into exile to prevent further harm to his village. As he ventures out into the world, however, he discovers just how dire the straights have become - with man and beast ready to break into all out war, his curse becomes the least of his problems. As both sides teeter dangerously on the side of outright slaughter of one another, Ashitaka sets his own problems aside and, using his charisma and honor, seeks to quell the hatred before it gets beyond repair - but will he be in time or is he simply delaying the inevitable?
Both of them deal with the need to protect nature and nature's revenge on humans. The way the story is built differs a lot though, Mononoke being more mystical and violent, and Mori no Densetsu being more realistic and symbolic.
If you like themes of environmentalism and the encroachment of humans upon nature, then look no further than both of these anime. While Princess Mononoke is far more epic in scale and presents a more balanced argument, if this sort of theme tickles your fancy then why not try out both.
The short Broken Down Film is just that: broken. The film has aged poorly and the projector has trouble keeping the frame straight, but the protagonist is well aware of this. Exploiting these conditions the bumbling cowboy attempts to rescue a damsel in distress and win her heart.
This is more of a recommendation based on style rather than actual content. Legend of the Forest and Broken Down Film are both in the style of early western animation, both in the visual appearance of the characters and musical sound design. If you liked the 'classic' style of animation of one of these, then it is well worth checking out the other.
Black Jack has forgotten his medical kit; and it's up to his mysterious assistant, Pinoko, to return it to him. Unfortunately, though, Pinoko has gotten lost in a strange forest and many animals require her assistance! Becoming a makeshift doctor, Pinoko mends the wounds of deer, bears and other forest creatures - but she soon must face her most challenging and frightening healing experience yet! Can Pinoko save the day both in the forest, and for Black Jack?
After seeing the dismal and depressing Legend of the Forest, make sure you check out a more lighthearted and gorgeous forest tale: Dr Pinoko's Adventure. It has similar creatures, but otherwise is just flat out better and happier.
Goshu is a small-town musician with a passion for playing the cello, and is a dedicated member of the local orchestra. With an important performance in a matter of weeks, the group practices daily to hone their skills. But lately, Goshu's musical ability has been lacking, and to get it back, he must accept help from the unlikeliest of kin -- the furry and feathered friends who dwell on his land...
Mori no Densetsu and Gauche both take place in famous classical music backgrounds, which gives the anime a special feeling. Although the topics they deal with are different, both show a utopian vision of relations between nature and men.