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A tiny mountain village in a remote woodland region. Five primary school kids have come together in this idyllic spot in order to spend their summer holidays at a camp. At first the children enjoy carefree days amidst unspoiled nature far away from adult supervision. But their life changes dramatically when they come across what they believe to be a small dog, badly in need of help. The creature - known as Pochi - turns out not to be a dog at all but an alien on an important mission. It seems there is a mysterious substance on earth that is coveted throughout the universe. Pochi had almost found it but was so badly injured during a fight that he had to give up his search. Thanks to the children's help, the alien survives - and decides to reward them generously. "Where would you most like to travel?" is the question Pochi puts to his rescuers. Their answer is prompt, if vague: "As far as possible!" Pochi suggests they try the moon first of all, and so, the alien whisks away the kids to...Written by
Berlin Film Festival site
This film has some of the most incredible vistas and production design I've ever seen in any film, animated or live action. Unfortunately, the plot has all the problems people have said, and the overall tone is very much that of a kids movie.
What I would give to see a live action version of this universe, or even a Pixar remake (this is sort of like Monsters Inc. with aliens instead of monsters). When they first arrive on the "dark side" of the moon, the amount of detail is astounding. From architecture and buildings to vehicles and clothes and aliens... it's like a dream brought to life, and it's an overload in all the best ways.
Every shot offers something new. If this had a better story - better thought out and a bit more maturity, like a Pixar film or a Miyazaki film - this really could have been a classic for the ages. Along with Tekkonkinkreet, I put this as the best anime I've seen as far as world-building and showing me places I wish I could walk around.
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