Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her, but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.
Chloë Grace Moretz,
The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their teenage daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.
A 12-year-old girl is sent to the country for health reasons, where she meets an unlikely friend in the form of Marnie, a young girl with long, flowing blonde hair. As the friendship ... See full summary »
A dashing thief, his gang of desperadoes and an intrepid policeman struggle to free a princess from an evil count's clutches, and learn the hidden secret to a fabulous treasure that she holds part of a key to.
As the human city development encroaches on the raccoon dog population's forest and meadow habitat, the raccoon dogs find themselves faced with the very real possibility of extinction. In response, the raccoon dogs engage in a desperate struggle to stop the construction and preserve their home.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I find it hard to summarize this film, since it is sort of all over the place. The main plot of the film involves the tanuki (raccoon-dogs) of the Tama hills near Tokyo and their struggle against the encroaching development that is destroying their woods. As the tanuki attempt to defend their home through the use of their shape-shifting abilities, they are also challenged by an inability to agree on the best course of action and a growing sense that their efforts may be inevitably doomed to failure.
The film, like its tanuki characters, seemed a bit unfocused at times, especially towards the end. Indeed, the plot mainly served as a set-up for showing a succession tanuki antics. Admittedly, said antics were very entertaining, but at 2 hours of runtime I'd prefer a little more narrative support.
Some have referred to this movie as environmentalist in nature, but viewed from that standpoint, it is actually somewhat weak. I was especially disappointed by the ending, which I thought failed to make any meaningful comment on the sequence of events depicted in the movie. Without giving too much away, it seemed like the movie was saying, "Development and urban sprawl are inevitable, but oh well. At least there are still golf courses and parks!" It was as if the people making the film didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I have nothing against ambiguity, especially with such a broad theme as the conflict between humans and nature, but I thought the overall effect of the film was wishy-washy, avoiding more serious questions for the sake of preserving a lighthearted tone.
The best aspects of this film in my opinion were its unrestrained playfulness, wacky sense of humor, and use of Japanese culture and folklore, much of which was largely unfamiliar to me as a Western viewer. The art and animation were also quite well done, with realistic natural elements rendered quite convincingly and an overall visual harmony between the static backgrounds and animated figures. Despite the shortcomings mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, I enjoyed this film quite a bit. 7 / 10.
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