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>
Takahata Isao, talented co-founder of Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Grave of the Fireflies, Princess Mononoke) brings us a new family comedy with a twist. You may be expecting something along the epic lines of 'Spirited Away' but what you will get is a film that invokes the same reactions of Miyazaki's 'Totoro'. The family are everyday yet excellently fleshed out, so much so you will find characteristics in each of them that will remind you of your own family. The art will shock you considering this is a Ghibli product, particularly when you look closer and realise the sketches and key animation is so fantastically rendered. Takahata, renown for his 'Grave of the Fireflies', has taken this popular Japanese comic strip and brought it to life. It's one weakness is the lack of a singular storyline. Perhaps this would have worked better as a television series, but the conclusion at the end brings the whole film together in a way that will leave you the same way 'Amelia' did: A great big smile on your face.
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