Kokone has university exams to prepare for, but instead she dozes off. Even when her father is unceremoniously arrested prior to the Tokyo Olympics and the family is hiding away a mystery or two she finds herself taking refuge in sleep where thrills await her. Could there be more to her dreams? Written by
Love anime to death, especially Studio Ghibli, so would see anything regardless of the studio and subject matter. There are many great animes out there that are among my favourites ever, and 'Napping Princess', despite not being a favourite, has a lot to admire.
'Napping Princess' (aka 'Ancien and the Magic Tablet') at times tries to do too much, with a lot of ideas and strands, and while thought-provoking the ending is slightly overblown and goes on for a little too long. Otherwise, 'Napping Princess' is a very intriguing and extremely well made film that makes the most of an inventive and ambitious concept. The merging of dreams and reality was beautifully done and always coherent, and there is admiration for how the film manages to incorporate many elements and execute a vast majority of them very well with enough complexity and magic.
The animation as expected is wonderful. Rich in meticulous background and character detail, atmospheric and ethereal in colour schemes and alive to nuances in its use of settings and character gestures and expressions, it becomes a character of its own. The music has whimsy, haunting beauty and understatement, while not overbearing the drama and letting it speak when needed.
Strong writing always helps and 'Napping Princess' has that, being thoughtful and not taking itself too seriously that it becomes dreary, there is some humorous quirkiness that lightens things a little. It doesn't feel too over-complicated either. There's plenty of warmth and heart, the characters are rootable and the voice acting dynamic.
Overall, very well done and deserving of more attention. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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