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 home.
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.
The newest Ghibli film (which is already out on video overseas but will not play theatrically in the U.S. until March of 2013) is the second from Hayao's son Goro, after the somewhat disastrous Tales from Earthsea. This one is definitely a success. It's a smaller Ghibli film, more along the lines of Only Yesterday, Whisper of the Heart and Ocean Waves. In fact, it's probably most closely related to Ocean Waves, in that it's about teenagers and their relationships. It's quite a bit better than that one, though. The story revolves around a group of teenagers in Yokohama trying to save their school clubhouse from demolition. The story takes place in the early 1960s, and their clubhouse is slated to be destroyed to make way for an Olympic stadium of some sort. The two main characters are Umi and Shun. Shun is one of the leaders at the clubhouse. Umi kind of falls for him and comes up with the idea to pretty up the clubhouse in order to impress the politicians, hoping they'll move onto another site. The story is very small and simple, but it's utterly charming. The artwork is truly stunning and the music (by Satoshi Takebe) is gorgeous. I doubt Disney will open this one wide, but they are planning on giving it a modest Oscar campaign so, unlike Arietty (which would have easily won the award last year), this should definitely get a nomination.
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