Director: Hayao Miyazaki. Cast (voices) Billy Crudup, Billy Bob Thornton, Minnie Driver, Claire Danes, Jada Pinkett Smith, Gillian Anderson. 134 min. Rated PG-13. Japan. Animation.
To just call this a "cartoon", is a cruel understatement. Miyazaki always impresses with his lush beautiful imagery, and that would have sufficed to make this a memorable piece of art, but here he goes above and beyond by telling the epic story of a young boy who's infected by a forest demon, and launches a crusade to cure himself, and bring peace and harmony to battling beasts and humans. Rarely do I remember being so engrossed in such a long animated fantasy tale. The movie tagline calls it: "The Star Wars of animated features!". I can imagine why.
PS: Thank you, Ali, for the thrilling recommendation.