During this film, almost every person in the theatre was deeply invested. Laughs were loud, and I found myself with a grin ear-to-ear throughout the movie. I was extremely surprised to see so many bad reviews popping up, all of whom were expecting another Spirited Away hit. If you go in with no knowledge of Studio Ghibli, you are sure to enjoy this quirky ride. And if you go in having watched at least all the popular Ghibli films, please note that this film was directed by the son of Hayao Miyazki and this story is not an original Studio Ghibli story.
Japanese director Gorō Miyazaki honours its original source material (aka the children’s book by Diana Wynne Jones), where the story actually never ends and leaves the reader with a lot of questions which is what most critics are complaining about. Not everything in the world has to be finished and tied up neatly with a bow. Let us have something to the imagination, allow us to chat amongst ourselves. Honouring the standalone book also allowed the opportunity for Gorō to potentially create a second film with an original storyline where he can segue wherever he pleases.
I thought it was a brilliant retelling filled with colourful unique characters and left me hungry for more. This experimental new direction from Gorō stamps out room for growth with its colourful, fun animation packed with attitude. Also can we PLEASE take a moment for the original soundtrack made by Satoshi Takebe. Incredible job! Brb, I’m adding it to my Spotify.
This film is cheesy, quirky and everything you need right now. We recommend watching the Japanese version with English subtitles.