Animator Michael Dudok de Wit has had the improbable chance to make his feature-length debut in partnership with studio Ghibli, and with full artistic autonomy. The result is one hour and a half of purely visual narrative. A bold choice but with no doubt one that works out beautifully. The result is simple, fresh and beautiful, and definitely worthy of the Studio Ghibli stamp.
However, leaving the theater, I had the peculiar impression of having watched the world's longest short. It's an observation that's neither positive nor negative, at least I've been unable to define whether this is an accomplishment or a weakness. That is to say : the film might come off as a bit light, but at the same time, its single-topic approach is elegant and truly enjoyable to watch, and beautifully poetic in its way of finding big stories in the simplest of things.
Anyway, a debut that makes us very curious where Mchaël Dudok de Wit will take us in his future work.