39 user 122 critic

When Marnie Was There (2014)

Omoide no Mânî (original title)
1:40 | Trailer
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.


(novel), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
3,582 ( 230)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A group of Yokohama teens look to save their school's clubhouse from the wrecking ball in preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Director: Gorô Miyazaki
Stars: Sarah Bolger, Chris Noth, Anton Yelchin
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A love story between a girl who loves reading books, and the boy who has previously checked out all of the library books she chooses.

Director: Yoshifumi Kondô
Stars: Youko Honna, Issei Takahashi, Takashi Tachibana
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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.

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Stars: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett
Wolf Children (2012)
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Stars: Aoi Miyazaki, Takao Ohsawa, Haru Kuroki
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Minami Takayama, Rei Sakuma
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After helping a cat, a young girl finds herself involuntarily engaged to a cat prince in a magical world where her only hope of freedom lies with a dapper cat statuette come to life.

Director: Hiroyuki Morita
Stars: Chizuru Ikewaki, Yoshihiko Hakamada, Aki Maeda
Ponyo (2008)
Animation | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An adventure about a five-year-old boy and his relationship with Ponyo, a goldfish princess who longs to become a human after falling in love with him.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson
Animation | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wonderous forest spirits who live nearby.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Chieko Baishô, Takuya Kimura, Tatsuya Gashûin
Spirited Away (2001)
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino
Animation | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Ben, a young Irish boy, and his little sister Saoirse, a girl who can turn into a seal, go on an adventure to free the faeries and save the spirit world.

Director: Tomm Moore
Stars: David Rawle, Brendan Gleeson, Lisa Hannigan


Credited cast:
Sara Takatsuki ...
Anna Sasaki (voice)
Kasumi Arimura ...
Marnie (voice)
Yoriko Sasaki (voice)
Susumu Terajima ...
Kiyomasa Oiwa (voice)
Toshie Negishi ...
Setsu Oiwa (voice)
Ryôko Moriyama ...
Elderly Lady (voice)
Kazuko Yoshiyuki ...
Nanny (voice)
Hitomi Kuroki ...
Hisako (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sayaka (voice)
Kyle Arem ...
Additional Voices (voice)
Nobuko's Friend (voice)
Mrs. Kadoya (voice)
Eric Bauza ...
Marnie's Dad (voice)
Dr. Yamashita (voice)
Young Marnie (voice)


A young girl is sent to the country for health reasons, where she meets an unlikely friend in the form of Marnie, a young girl with flowing blonde hair. As the friendship unravels it is possible that Marnie has closer ties to the protagonist than we might expect. Written by David On

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

19 July 2014 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

When Marnie Was There  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$40,282 (USA) (29 May 2015)


$400,295 (USA) (19 June 2015)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Studio Ghibli's final film before taking their longest break from film-making. See more »


The Victrola in The Marsh Mansion came from the 1920's, but it has an S-shape tone arm. The designers should have looked at this machine from that era on YouTube. (Search for 1920 Victrola.) See more »


Featured in The 88th Annual Academy Awards (2016) See more »


Fine on the Outside
Written and Performed by Priscilla Ahn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Love Story, A Coming-of-Age Drama & A Journey Into One's Own Past
3 July 2015 | by See all my reviews

The last film to be produced under the Studio Ghibli banner before the acclaimed animation studio decided to take a break from filmmaking following the retirement of Hayao Miyazaki, When Marnie Was There is an elegantly crafted & gorgeously animated tale that intertwines dreams with reality as well as past with present, only to end up getting entangled in its own web.

Based on the novel of the same name, When Marnie Was There follows Anna; a 12-year old girl who takes a trip to a countryside town for health reasons and discovers an abandoned mansion where she finds an unlikely friend in Marnie; a blond girl. As their new relationship blossoms over the next few days & both get to know each other better, it is unraveled that Anna is more closely related to Marnie than expected.

Nicely directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, When Marnie Was There is his sophomore effort following his debut feature, The Secret World of Arrietty, which remains my favourite Studio Ghibli film to be not directed by Miyazaki. And although his latest is no doubt an ambitious work, its pay-off won't be rewarding enough emotionally unless the viewers try to connect the dots all by themselves by doing a little digging of their own.

The technical aspects are expertly carried out for each frame of it is sumptuously animated & vividly photographed from start to finish. Editing tries to juggle various elements of story at once & doesn't always succeed. However, there isn't any issue with the pacing for its 103 minutes of runtime never becomes tedious at any given moment. Also, the background score brims with tracks that infuse a soothing feel into the narrative.

The Japanese voice cast is only as fitting as the studio's previous works. However, it's the beautiful relationship between Anna & Marnie that leaves the biggest mark. The film can be viewed as a coming-of-age drama that follows the journey of Anna from a lonely & anxious girl at the beginning of the film to a more confident person later in the story. Marnie herself exhibits an aura of mystery around her that not only allures Anna but us viewers as well.

On an overall scale, When Marnie Was There isn't as magical as Studio Ghibli's finest films but its take on friendship & isolation nonetheless manages to cast a spell of its own in bits n pieces which makes its story captivating for a while. A love story, a coming-of-age tale & a deep journey into one's own past, When Marnie Was There may or may not benefit from multiple viewings but for now, it has to settle for an underwhelming experience in my book. Still, it's worth a shot!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Oscar Nomination Redrose14
I wouldn't call this a kids' film, or even a family film tuomas_gimli
Is Ghibli in trouble? Graveyard_Goblin
When is the worldwide release? kolaxanthe
Any trailers? Alchemistlover
Very excited for this. chees11
Discuss When Marnie Was There (2014) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: