Did ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ steal the forest scene from Princess Mononoke?

From what I saw, it kind of did.

Why did I start seeing anime scenes in every movie that I saw lately? Maybe I was just becoming a real anime fan now. This post is almost like a pop-up post for me. It is definitely short and I wrote it purely by impulse. But I had to post this. I had to. After I saw the latest trailer of Snow White and the Huntsman, the forest scene with the deer and the sprites struck me hard.

I couldn’t believe what I just saw! The scene was the complete duplication of the Deer God scene in Princess Mononoke. And to make things worse, the marble-colored sprites were seen purging on tree branch in the next scene, further reminding of the Kodama in Princess Mononoke.

Scene from Snow White and the Huntsman depicting the deer

Deer God from Princess Mononoke

Surely, forest gods and forest spirits are nothing new and any movie can legitimately put them in the story. But in this case with Snow White and the Huntsman, everything in the scene was similar to that in Princess Mononoke; the position of the deer, the large tree grove in the back, the pond, the lighting and the white forest spirits. Just look at the screencaps and you’ll see.

Another scene from Snow White and the Huntsman

Kodama (forest spirits) from Princess Mononoke

That’s all I would like to say for now. It’s just my observation and this post should not lead you against watching this movie when it actually comes out. But seriously, originality has never been Hollywood’s strongest quality and this case does nothing to improve that.

Here’s the SWATH trailer in question.

What do you think? Or did I miss something and misunderstood it? Please share your thoughts!

66 responses to “Did ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ steal the forest scene from Princess Mononoke?

  1. Ahahaha. What a rip-off! They totally did. I don’t know. I’m pretty biased.

  2. Anime quietly influences Hollywood more than we think. Ever since Ghost in the Shell, many sci-fi movies have taken small elements from it. Miyazaki’s works also influence various directors.

  3. I saw the preview before the Hunger Games and was outraged at the blatant rip-off, i wanted to commiserate with someone but no one knew about that classic anime film dammit!

    • I felt the same, having no one to talk to. So I had post it on my blog. I am surprised by how little the search result yielded on this subject. Didn’t no one notice this rip-off at all?

      • I did too! See my post below. My brother was the first one to experience Miyazaki, via Spirited Away, but I introduced him to Princess Mononoke. We saw the Hunger Games today with our mommy and this preview came on beforehand. I noticed the similarity and pointed it out to him. He agreed with me.

    • Little research? If you are talking about the great Hunger Games vs. Battle Royale, then trust me, Hunger Game fans are stick of the “Battle Royale Trolls”. Anyway, I walked in being a fan of BR, and in my opinion, HG handled the topic differently. Besides, it’s been done before. I recommend reading Enders Game, cause they are never turning that book into a movie,

      • “I recommend reading Enders Game, cause they are never turning that book into a movie,”
        Except of course the movie currently filming starring Harrison Ford & co.

  4. If it’s ripping off anime, then it must be good!

  5. It does seem like it!

  6. Hollywood has difficulty in making a good movie without a bit of rip-off :D Well, I don’t know if Snow White and the Huntsman is good or bad though, since I probably wouldn’t watch it, and I haven’t saw it in the cinema here yet ;p

    • The movie did not interest me that much until I saw this particular scene in the trailer. Now I want to watch it just for the sake of knowing how the scene fits into everything else. -_-

  7. There’s this fine line between homage and stealing, I guess. To me, it’s venerating the original creator if you tell everyone that you’ve done it – don’t keep it a secret, and let it be known. Otherwise, it seems like you’re trying to hide the fact that you copied someone. I guess we’ll see what the creators say in the upcoming weeks.

    The kodama scene you reference, to me, actually reminds me more of the creepy monkeys from Princess Mononoke than of the forest spirits.

    Oh, and this reminds me of Firefly. Did you ever watch that series? The first episode contains a scene where the female protagonist is taken out of a steel suitcase – it’s EXACTLY the same as the scene in Outlaw Star where Melfina is revealed. In fact, there’s even a wiki about similarities in the two series:


    • Thank you for sharing!
      I am surprised by the similarity between Firefly and Outlaw Star that you mentioned. I haven’t seen the series but I saw the movie ‘Serenity’. Yet, I didn’t notice it at all.

  8. I google searched “snow white and the huntsman deer” to find this specific post. I just saw this trailer today before the hunger games. while I abso-fn-lutely think this was taken from princess mononoke, as an artist, and someone who has been following the sopa/pipa/acta legislation, I don’t necessarily think of it in a negative light. it could be a nod, a tribute to miyazaki, as others have indicated. the real test is asking the creator of this movie. if he/she doesn’t acknowledge the blatant borrowing then it’s stealing.

  9. Miyazaki I Salute You! even the guys from Hollywood gets ideas from your work! (- -,) . Now I’m looking forward to see the film, It’s still not scheduled for release here in our country.

    • I think the forest scene won’t play major part in the film overall but hopefully many more people may recognize this homage/rip-off after the movie is released.

  10. Whew! I really did think I was the only one to notice this, and as someone mentioned earlier, also didn’t have anyone to tell except my hubby, who called me a dork, after I woke him up to show him the Huntsman trailer E! played. I still want to watch the movie but feel much better that others noticed this too. Maybe someone in television will find out some info for us all on why the Huntsman copied the scene. Though, would the makers admit they copied…? We all might get a lame excuse, if any. We all know better! This can not go unnoticed by the masses! PM should get the recognition it deserves! :)

  11. Even part of Justin Bei(ie)ber’s new video had a clip(I had no choice in viewing this!) that totally reminded me of Sora in the water from, I believe, the first Kingdom Hearts game. I had to laugh because I’d just seen the Huntsman-Princess Mononoke rip-off/tribute a few minutes before. Double-whammy

  12. also did any one notice when queen turn in to that big black raven thing (around 2.21 on the trailer) it looks lot like howl in howl’s moving castle. looks like they have been inspired by more than one studio ghibli movies :P

  13. oh my god!
    i thought the exact same thing the moment i watched this scene in the movie lol, as soon as i saw the deer, i was like, WHAT, wait, what
    haha, i think i saw something else, but i cant remember what it was even though i just saw it today lol >..<

  14. also, what happens after this scene *POSSIBLE SPOILER though not really* the same thing happens that happens in princess mononoke, although it doesnt seem to have any relevance :\

    but aside from the fact this is such a copy lol >..<

  15. Love Howl!

  16. Hi. I saw the movie last night and instantly thought of Mononoke. Can it be a homage? or is it a total ripoff? I’m wondering and if it is the latter, I find it very sad that a genius as Miyazaki doesn’t get more credit internationally for his work.

    • In my opinion, a homage should be more subtle. I felt that this scene with white stag, sprites and the stag’s getting shot was too similar for a simple homage. But that’s just my thought :)

  17. just exactly what i thought the moment the forest-deer-spirit scene appears

  18. I directly related this scene to Princess Mononoke, I’ve loved it for years. However the concept of a stag with massive horns being presented as a master of the forest is extremely common. If anything it’s a consistency in following a lot of faerie folk myth in which I congratulate them knowing. The arrow to the neck? Think of the time frames for both film settings, what else do you kill deer with? Snow White’s time period has no gun or gun powder, if the man who attacked the deer had run out with a sword he would’ve wasted no time with the deer and it would’ve been long gone. He went in for a surprise and immediately went after Snow White after hitting the stag.
    And while the one in Mononoke was the target it assault was much more vicious and had actually been put in danger, the one in this Snow White was only mildly in danger and quickly fled the scene.
    That being said I will say that I am extremely biased in favor of Ghibli films and loathe Kristen Stewart, as an avid faerie folk enthusiasts who finds great joy well presented mythos, I really enjoyed this scene.

  19. Pingback: Snow white and the Gangstahs. « HELLO WORLD!

  20. Hi there, thought you’d like to know that it wasn’t just princess mononoke that copied scenes from…they also copied a scene from howl’s moving castle. The part where the queen turns into ravens and when she returns to her castle she is all weak, partially feathered and covered in this black sludge, and she is just dragging on the floor….sound familiar? yep, it is EXACTLY like in howl’s moving castle when he turns into a big bird goes out to war, when he returns and is part human, part bird, and he is covered in sludge, is all weakened and dragging around on the floor….

  21. I was just writing about this in my review of Snow White. I googled it on a whim and thankfully I wasn’t the first to notice the rip-off. I’m going to link to this article.

  22. Just because Kristen Stewart is in it doesn’t mean it’s bad. I also had my doubts about her based in her performances in Adventureland and the Twilig saga, but she was great. It’s actually a very good movie, I recommend it for everyone!

  23. Completely agree.

  24. Although I heard about other things being copies of other movies I hadn’t heard about this one before. Went to see it last night and the moment the deer appeared I immediately thought of Princess Mononoke, even though it’s been a long time since I last saw it. Nice to see the comparison shots!

    • Thanks for the sharing :)

      • “the forest stag spirit”motive was used long before Mononoke in my childhood favourite anime – Robin Hood – check the opening. Stag is taken from the Celtic legends . Wikipedia says: Cernunnos was a god in Celtic mythology that possessed two deer antlers on the top of his head. He was known as The Horned One or The Horned God despite having antlers and not horns. Cernunnos is also known as The Stag Lord, The Horned God of the Hunt, The Lord of the Forest, The Lord of the Hunt, and The Lord of the Animals. Btw, swath is just unbearable to watch :)

  25. ripped off much >_<

  26. We recognized the spirit of the forest instantly from Mononoke, and my girls squeed with delight at the reference. We saw it as a Myazaki homage and it made us enjoy the film that much more.

  27. It isn’t a ripoff. The creator of the film quotes Hayao Mitazaki to be -an inspiration, and the references were a nod to him.

  28. When I seen Snow White in the movies and that scene came to I KNEW I seen this before… I just couldnt put my finger on it… so months later as I sit here and watch it on TV I remember to research it and BOOM Princess Mononokoke!! As stated .. you want to use the ideas fine… but don’t duplicate the whole damn scene…. get some of your own creativity going -_-

  29. I actually had to look up the scene images to show my family because my convictions told me the same thing- that snow white and huntsman copied princess mononoke scenes. tickled me to see it actually.

  30. what an effin blatant rip off! :O I’m watching the movie now & I just reached this scene and it’s obviously out of Mononoke! dafoooooooook!

  31. Yes! Such a rip-off! However I’m an aspiring author and I do understand that inspiration is easily drawn from great works such as all of Miyazaki’s films. What I don’t understand is how the heck this scene with Shishigami ties into Snow White even after watching the movie. I’m angry. Lol

    • I wondered the same thing. The scene with the forest god didn’t fit into the movie very well. The story itself had nothing to do with forest spirits.

  32. It’s not a “rip off”, it is called intertextuality. All movie makers borrow elements from other movies, or art works, or… So I’d say it’s more of an homage than theft.

  33. I’m really late saying this, but I was just now reminded of this. I noticed the same thing when I watched Snow White and the Huntsman. And I had only seen Princess Mononoke once, so I wouldn’t consider myself biased.

  34. I also kind of noticed ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ references. (The queen turning into a raven then getting all gooey)

  35. Disney opened Mononoke Hime on so very few screens in the states. Also, they delayed the opening and in the meantime came out with Fantasia 2000, which also ripped off the deer god theme.

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