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Kenji Miyazawa's Night on the Galactic Express (1985)
"Ginga-tetsudo no yoru" (original title)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 688 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 4 critic

Two kittens go on a metaphysical journey on a magical railroad train.

Writers:

(novel), (idea), 1 more credit »
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Title: Kenji Miyazawa's Night on the Galactic Express (1985)

Kenji Miyazawa's Night on the Galactic Express (1985) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mayumi Tanaka ...
Giovanni (voice)
Chika Sakamoto ...
Campanella (voice)
Junko Hori ...
Zanelli (voice)
Ayumi Ishijo ...
(voice)
Kaori Nakahara ...
Kaoru (voice)
Yoshie Shimamura ...
Givoanni no haha (voice)
Shun Yashiro ...
(voice)
Reiko Niimura ...
Old Woman (voice)
Chikao Ohtsuka ...
Birdcatcher (voice)
Hidehiro Kikuchi ...
Young Man (voice)
Yuriko Fuchizaki ...
(voice)
Tetsuya Kaji ...
Train Conductor Shashou (voice)
Takeshi Aono ...
Wireless operator (voice)
Seiji Kurasaki ...
Milkman (voice)
Gorô Naya ...
Dr. Bulganillo, Campanella's Father (voice)
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Storyline

On the night of a cat village's Festival of the Stars, a kitten and his friend go on an celestial journey on a magical space locomotive. On that trip, they have various stops where they meet strange sights, even more unusual fellow passengers and learn some lessons of life on their trip to the terminus of the Galactic Railroad. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

7 February 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kenji Miyazawa's Night on the Galactic Express  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The wireless operator picks up fragments of a cryptic message which is later discovered to be parts of "Nearer, My God, To Thee" (Hymn #306). The express later picks up three people from a shipwreck closely resembling that of the Titanic. That hymn was one of the last the ship's band played as passengers filled the lifeboats. It is uncertain in what hymnal it is listed as #306; however, there were 306 bodies recovered from the disaster by the cable ship MacKay-Bennett. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spirited Away (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Nearer, My God, To Thee
Lyrics by Sarah F. Adams
Music by Lowell Mason
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stays true to the author's intent.
27 March 2002 | by See all my reviews

Kenji Miyazawa intended "Ginga tetsudo no yoru" as a book for children. But in it are truths that everyone big and small look to find. No one is comfortable with death. Everyone searches for answers. As I read the book before seeing the movie, I was amazed to see how accurately and wonderfully the director and animators were able to capture the feeling of this fantasy. It may be too arty for some, but I feel that more often than not, viewers will come away with a deeper sense of what death can do for life and what life can mean if given a chance.

As for the cat characters, this seems to be a consistent image that surrounds Miyazawa. Some of the stories he wrote were populated by cats that would take human roles. Interestingly enough, in Kenji Miyazawa's biographical anime (Shoji Kawamori's Spring and Chaos) Miyazawa is portrayed as a cat. Maybe the cats exist to shield children from the pain that these harsh truths might bring. But not shield too much

Sometimes it is easy to look at a work like Night on the Galactic Railroad and say, this is just a fantasy. Perhaps Miyazawa wanted us to think that, maybe at first anyhow. But the true beauty behind this animation is that by creating a fantasy world so wild and vibrant, it forces us to see who and what we really are.


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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