Wolf Children (Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki)

Wolf Children (Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki) 2012 Another blockbuster from Mamoru Hosoda, though it’s far deeper into tear-jerker territory than his previous film, Summer Wars. But soon after that movie’s success Hosoda left Madhouse to create Studio Chizu, and Wolf Children was the first feature made by his new studio. My anticipation wasContinue reading “Wolf Children (Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki)”

Porco Rosso (Kurenai no Buta)

Porco Rosso (Kurenai no Buta) 1992 Ah, the Crimson Pig – another classic Ghibli film, and another chance for Miyazaki to explore romance and the thrill of flight, along with the planes themselves too. Having opened with that statement I’ll quickly add that Porco Rosso is still most definitely an action film but there’s aContinue reading “Porco Rosso (Kurenai no Buta)”

Stein’s Gate (Shutainzu Gēto)

Stein’s Gate (Shutainzu Gēto) 2011 Game adaptations that work exceptionally well as film or longer narratives feel rare to me – but maybe that’s a reflection of my limited knowledge of animation that falls into that range? Either way, I think this series is outstanding. It’s rightly considered a classic of speculative fiction and anime;Continue reading “Stein’s Gate (Shutainzu Gēto)”

Anastasia (1997)

Anastasia (1997) Anastasia could be called an animated musical or an alternate history, a fantasy perhaps, and any of those labels seem pretty fitting to me, but I’d argue it’s a drama before the others – though there is somewhat Disney-like magic here as well. And while I definitely don’t have much knowledge of GrandContinue reading “Anastasia (1997)”

Modest Heroes (Chīsana Eiyū: Kani to Tamago to Tōmei Ningen)

Modest Heroes (Chīsana Eiyū: Kani to Tamago to Tōmei Ningen) 2018 I hope interest in Studio Ponoc stays high as we’re now nearly three years out from their first feature and a year on from Modest Heroes, the first in a series of shorts. And while I’m personally a bit wary of commissions from giantContinue reading “Modest Heroes (Chīsana Eiyū: Kani to Tamago to Tōmei Ningen)”

Tintin in Tibet (Tintin au Tibet)

Perhaps the most emotional volume in Herge’s Tintin series, Tintin in Tibet (1960) is certainly the one I’ve read the most times. Perhaps there isn’t as much action as usual, but with its mystery woven around a heartfelt storyline that sees Tintin and Haddock searching the snowy mountains of Tibet for Tintin’s friend Chang, it’sContinue reading “Tintin in Tibet (Tintin au Tibet)”

Pom Poko (Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko)

Pom Poko (Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko) 1994 I guess you could say Pom Poko appeared right in the middle of a golden period for Ghibli, and from a production standpoint it’s just as wonderfully animated as any others from the time. I also think it’s probably just as (or more) imaginative to my eye, inContinue reading “Pom Poko (Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko)”

Miss Hokusai (Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai)

Miss Hokusai (Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai) 2015 I definitely enjoyed this film, as I tend to gravitate toward stories that are about artists of just about any form, but this was bright and memorable for me in terms of visuals and characters too, if not the storyline, precisely. More on that below however. Obviously I’m hardlyContinue reading “Miss Hokusai (Sarusuberi: Miss Hokusai)”

Garden of Words (Kotonoha no Niwa)

Garden of Words (Kotonoha no Niwa) 2013 If you’re a Makoto Shinkai fan and for some reason you’ve overlooked Garden of Words I reckon you should rectify that and take a look. The movie is shorter than a feature film but that compressed the storytelling and worked really well for me, so it felt likeContinue reading “Garden of Words (Kotonoha no Niwa)”

From Up on Poppy Hill (Kokuriko-zaka Kara)

From Up on Poppy Hill (Kokuriko-zaka Kara) 2011 I came quite late to Studio Ghibli – my first experience being Spirited Away, and only then on DVD a couple of years after the dub was released – and so when From Up on Poppy Hill was screened at a festival back in 2013, I jumpedContinue reading “From Up on Poppy Hill (Kokuriko-zaka Kara)”

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