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On Your Mark (1995)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,639 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 6 critic

Set in the future: Two men learn that a mysterious winged girl has been taken prisoner, and then decide that they must free her at any cost.

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Set in the future: Two men learn that a mysterious winged girl has been taken prisoner, and then decide that they must free her at any cost.

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15 July 1995 (Japan)  »

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On Your Mark
Written by Chage & Aska
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the simplicity of its message comes through powerfully through the use of Miyazaki/Ghiblis' imaginations
12 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It must have been a small but extreme labor of love to make On Your Mark, a short film directed by the great Hayao Miyazaki with his Studio Ghibli crew working at full throttle. It gets right to the heart of the idea in seven minutes through an immediate array of strange but deliriously exciting images, and its story gains momentum by the end. The end, also, is one of the happiest I've seen in Miyazaki's work (if a little fuzzy with an angel flying high into the sky). On Your Mark tells of such a winged being who becomes prey to the horrors of civilization, plague, technology, when she only got there through a tremendous blunder. But when two men finally decide they've seen enough, they go through the security, through the swarms of bio-chemical suited soldiers, and through a desperate escape they make it through the explosions and action.

All through this Miyzaki and his team create small wonders frame by frame, with small details like falling rocks just as fascinating as the large-scale amazements like the 'city' at night in neon, or the shots of the getaway vehicle running along the highway, with the helicopters chasing afterwords. How or why this has happened to the angel is never made clear, but in such an amount of time Miyazaki can only show so much. What comes through best, in the end, is the immense talents of his team, his collaborators who transform such a near fairy tale into a one-of-a-kind show. The music, too, is a curious addition, as I don't think I would've cared for it much taken apart from the animation. With it, the song works on a romantically charged, epic scale (if it were in English, I might've mistaken it for an 80s power ballad). It won't remain as a true landmark achievement for Miyazaki like Princess Mononoke, but if you're already a fan of his &/or Studio Ghibli's works and you can find it (online is the best bet), it's more than worth it, it's a must-see.


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