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Momo e no tegami (2011)

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Clinging to an unfinished letter written by her recently deceased father, young Momo moves with her mother from bustling Tokyo to the remote Japanese island of Shio. Upon their arrival, she... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (english script) | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Karen Miyama ... Momo Miyaura (voice)
Yuka ... Ikuko Miyaura (voice)
Daizaburo Arakawa ... Kazuo Miyaura (voice)
Toshiyuki Nishida ... Iwa (voice)
... Kawa (voice)
Chô ... Mame (voice) (as Cho)
... Great Uncle (voice)
Ikuko Tani ... Great Auntie (voice)
Takeo Ogawa ... Koichi (voice)
Kota Fuji ... Yota (voice)
Katsuki Hashimoto ... Umi (voice)
... Momo Miyaura (voice)
... Ikuko Miyaura (voice)
... Kazuo Miyaura (voice)
... Iwa (voice)
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Storyline

Clinging to an unfinished letter written by her recently deceased father, young Momo moves with her mother from bustling Tokyo to the remote Japanese island of Shio. Upon their arrival, she begins to explore her new habitat, meeting local children and learning their routines and customs. However, it's not long before several bizarre occurrences crop up around the previously tranquil island. Orchards are found ransacked, prized trinkets start disappearing and, worst of all, each morning after her mother leaves for work, Momo hears strange mumblings coming from the attic of their home. Annoyed by these creepy goings-on and her mother's refusal to believe them, Momo embarks on a strange and supernatural adventure to discover the source of the mischief, which leads her to a trio of troublesome imps: the flatulent lizard Kawa, the childlike Mame and their hulking ogre leader Iwa. Momo also learns that her visit to the island is in some way connected to her father's mysterious letter. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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When I really started to notice, I wasn't alone.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

21 April 2012 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

A Letter to Momo  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Momo Miyaura: [last words to her father] You're selfish, and you're a liar. I don't care if you come back.
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User Reviews

 
7 years have not gone to waste
18 September 2011 | by See all my reviews

"A Letter to Momo" had reportedly taken the director Okiura Hiroyuki 7 years to produce. Allow me to be the first to say, the time and effort spent on perfecting this film have not gone to waste.

The art/animation in this movie is top-notch. Production I.G. with assistance from P.A. Works, Studio Pierrot, and CG by Dandelion resulted in stunning visual quality down to the tiniest details. What I especially liked, was the amount of attention paid to body language and gestures. There's so much information to be gleaned from subtleties of the visuals alone, and that's what I find most interesting about Japanese films. There was also this action sequence near the end that just blew me away. I don't want to spoil, but I have not seen such breathtaking hand-drawn animation since watching "Tonari no Totoro" in the late '80s.

The story begins with the protagonist, Momo, moving to a small fictional island named Shiojima with her mother. Their new house appears to be haunted, and she feels absolutely miserable about moving out of Tokyo. Being a city girl that she is, Momo struggles to adjust to the country life. Instead of playing with the local kids, she eventually befriends three Youkai in her house - Iwa, Kawa, and Mame. Momo begins to appreciate the life on the island, and come to realize the meaning of his late father's unfinished letter to her.

The character development in this movie is absolutely phenomenal. It begins with a light comedy, but through numerous adventures and mishaps on the island, we slowly learn about her past. The transition from comedy to drama is seamless, and it really makes you to care about the protagonist by the end... This film has what I call magic, something Ghibli films of late desperately lack. Although the local kids were severely underused in this movie, the three Youkai were the true supporting cast. Their chemistry with the protagonist was excellent, and the humor just comes naturally. Mame's character was especially funny in a quirky way. One can easily tell how much thought and planning has been put into this film just by watching the impeccable timing at which Mame's character was used as comedic relief every single time.

Every piece of music appears to be fully orchestrated, especially the violins stood out to build tension in action scenes. Momo's voice acting by child actress and seiyuu Miyama Karen was a perfect fit, as well as the three Youkai.

"A Letter to Momo" is almost like a homage to Studio Ghibli's kids movies - "My Neighbor Totoro", "Spirited Away", and "Ponyo". It sticks to the tried and tested formula of supernatural spirits that only interacts with kids, and somewhat predictable plot development. However, the producers have managed to merge various elements from all those films into an exciting original story. "A Letter to Momo" is a magical crowd-pleaser with great pacing and a heartwarming story. It's a solid movie that anime and movie fans should not miss.


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