The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.
When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.
College student Hana falls in love with another student who turns out to be a werewolf, who dies in an accident after their second child. Hana moves to the rural countryside where her husband grew up to raise her two werewolf children.
Upon being sent to live with relatives in the countryside, an emotionally distant adolescent girl becomes obsessed with an abandoned mansion and infatuated with a girl who lives there - a girl who may or may not be real.
A young girl rescues a mysterious cat from traffic and soon finds herself the unwelcome recipient of gifts and favors from the King of the Cats, who also wants her to marry his son, Prince Lune. With the assistance of a fat, grouchy real cat and a an elegant cat statuette come to life (both characters featured in Studio Ghibli's earlier anime "Whisper of the Heart"), the girl visits the Cat Kingdom and narrowly escapes again. Written by
After the wild but fully justified furore surrounding Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli's next production is a much lower key affair, clearly aimed at a younger market. Having said that, this cynical thirty-something loved it to bits. Ghibli purists seem to be somewhat snobbish about the studio's output, but If this is an example of one of their films designed more for harmless family entertainment, I can stand to see a lot more of it.
This is a wonderful fantasy film, cute and funny, and full of remarkable and memorable characters. The animation is solid and detailed, occasionally even breathtaking, and the soundtrack is gorgeous. The brisk running time ensures the light story doesn't outstay its welcome. In fact, I could easily have watched more, and I'm already looking forward to Ghibli's or Miyazaki's next flight of fantasy.
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