Mirai – Movie Review

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mariah is the latest animated film from famed director Mamoru Hosoda known for the girl who left through time summer wars wolf children the boy and the beast and of course Digimon the movie you can’t forget that in this film follows a young four-year-old boy who’s dealing with a crisis because his parents have just had a newborn daughter and now he has a sister and she’s getting all the attention that he used to get he gets very jealous and very angry and he runs out into his garden and encounters some sort of magical portal that allows him to travel through time and meet members of his family in the past and in the future including their dog and in so doing he learns a lesson about what it means to be a real family and tries to deal with this new turbulent situation in his very young life naturally I was looking forward to seeing this movie because I have loved pretty much all of this directors films I think he’s a genius I think he’s a brilliant animation director I think his films have a lot to say they don’t just look beautiful but he clearly has something he wants to communicate to people and his visions are always just so sublime and this film is no different from the rest another gorgeously animated tale with very well rounded characters that feel like they exist in the real world a story that although it has a fantastical undercurrent feels somehow very grounded there are also some extremely terrifying sequences that I could see frightening young children but it’s very realistic in the sense that when you are young and since this film does follow a four-year-old boy as its main protagonist you are frightened by things that you know adults aren’t scared by there’s aspects of childhood that seem very frightening to you when you are that young and this film takes those aspects and presents some actual terrifying imagery related to it that we as an adult might laugh at but as a child that might be the worst fear you have I was fortunate enough to receive a private screener for this movie from G kids and I thank them very much for that because I’m a huge fan of this company that screener was actually an English dub which is very rare whenever I’ve been granted access to an anime screener it’s usually the subtitled version so I mentioned that because I can highlight the English dub performances particularly Rebecca Hall and John Cho who both do a fantastic job with their voice work in fact I’m a fan of both of those actors and I didn’t even realize for awhile that it was them because they really seamlessly blended with the characters which doesn’t always happen with dubs sometimes the dubs can be a little noticeable but this was a very high-quality one and in particular I must commend the young actor who plays the boy in the film Jayden Waldman who doesn’t have many credits yet only for listed on IMDB and he was terrific very few movies attempt to reach their dramatic levels that this film goes for it doesn’t hit all of them there’s some missed elements and there are aspects of this film that feel uneven one of my biggest issues with it is that the plot and the idea of this garden being a magical portal of some kind that allows the young boy to traverse his life past and future at first it was unclear if this was literal because the protagonist is a four year old boy and so there’s a very strong chance that he’s just using his imagination and that’s what it felt like at first I actually had to go to IMDB and read the plot synopsis that states that a boy finds a magical portal that allows him to travel through time and so if that synopsis is to be believed then what we’re seeing is literal but there’s a large portion of the movie where you just kind of feel like the boy is so bothered by this new presence in his life that he’s using his imagination and perhaps that might be what hosted us going for maybe he wants the ambiguity but the IMDB synopsis seems to state otherwise I kind of like the idea of it being ambiguous but as the film goes on and he talks to his parents and he sees photo albums with people from his family in them and his mother states things that they have done in the past and those are things that we saw in these dreamlike sequences than you realize okay well then this must really be happening because how else would this four-year-old boy have this knowledge of things from the past unless he really experienced that through some sort of time portal and so I kind of wished that that was open to more interpretation and less literal I feel like that would have made for a stronger narrative but it might have also pissed off people especially young kids who are watching the movie if it was confusing like that still this is a film that explores aspects of family that a lot of films just don’t really go for this young boy experiencing things that are so much deeper and at a level of personal importance that he just can’t comprehend yet watching him experience that and trying to come to terms with things that will happen or have happened gives him a different perspective on his parents and on his sister because his sister older shows up sometimes in these little dreamlike scenarios he gets involved in and he has to realize that hey my baby sister ain’t that bad because eventually she’s gonna be kind of cool and maybe I should try to deal with that now and so this is a movie that was very personal apparently to hosted Oh from what I understand his actual daughter is named Uriah and he wrote the film very much so as a sort of larger-than-life version of some of his experiences as a youth and so the material feels like it has more heart behind it because it’s so close to him still it is a bit uneven at times sometimes the journey back and forth between time periods and then the present doesn’t always work it’s actually quite hilarious there are some very funny sequences but I think it would have just benefitted from a little more certainty about what the plot was doing early on because for a large portion of the film I just assumed he was using his imagination but then you realize okay he’s probably not and it felt a bit like information was missing sometimes to connect the past and future and present scenes I think perhaps on a second or even third viewing it might improve a little bit even though this film is is more aimed towards younger audiences and perhaps families it might be just a tad too confusing for really young kids but I feel like a young kid who appreciates film could watch this and and be really taken by it because it’s so magical and it is a bit challenging and that could also be really good for your kid you know there are some challenging anime likes a knight on the Galactic railroad that is in many ways a family movie that kids could watch but it’s extremely challenging and this could be another film like that where you appreciate the visuals you appreciate the acting and the story because things that happen in the past you hear like one specific sentence that kind of stands out but then later you understand why it’s important and that’s a lot of narrative jump rope for hosted Oh to get through and he does it mostly okay I would say this is probably my least favorite of Hostess films excluding the Digimon movie but that’s not to say this is a bad movie it’s just that he’s made such great films already to have one that’s simply good could be disappointing for some but still I found a lot of enjoyment watching this movie and I think that it is good for kids to see if they can comprehend what they’re seeing and perhaps learn something from it I’m gonna give Mirai a be guys thank you so much as always for watching look forward to more reviews very soon as always if you like this you can click right here and get stuck mine eyes

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