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The Yamadas are a typical middle class Japanese family in urban Tokyo and this film shows us a variety of episodes of their lives. With tales that range from the humourous to the heartbreaking, we see this family cope with life's little conflicts, problems and joys in their own way. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Universally funny. Still this is "Grave of the Fireflies" director's work !
This is a Studio Ghibli movie: The Totoro is displayed at the opening, and the animation is very well done. There end all similarities. The word to describe it is "different". Different graphics, different animation, different kind of story... Nothing my knowledge of previous Ghibli films could have prepared me to see. Especially coming from the director of such films as "Hotaru no Haka" (aka "Grave of the Fireflies")
When seeing the very first pictures, I wondered what these drawings were, so far from the characters I got used to see, and like... And then, the magic of its humor took me. The auditorium was fully filled (some people had to sit on the stairs), and everyone was laughing out loud, having no problem at all to follow the jokes (the movie was subtitled) even if we may have missed a few of them, due to a possible lack in cultural knowledge. Yet, I don't think I missed so much... This Yamada family is close enough to us, and their behavior seemed rather universal to me.
I spent a great time watching it... But I have perhaps only one regret: I'm afraid I won't find the same pleasure I always find to see a Ghibli film again and again. The graphics aren't the main interest in the film, and when you already know the jokes, well... Therefore, I would rate it differently for the first seeing, and the ones after. A high rating anyway, especially for having been able to make us laugh so much without ever using any "dumb" easy joke as we could now find so (too) often in nowadays films. But I will never watch it again and again as I could do with a "Kiki", a "Nausicaa", or (my favorite) a "Mimi o Sumaseba" (aka "Whispers of the Heart").
So, don't hesitate if you have the opportunity to go and see it. You should appreciate it at least once. Then you could wish to own it, most probably to be able to show it to some friends or family.
24 of 25 people found this review helpful.
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