When Marnie Was There (2014) Review

71qlM5nIi8L._SX342_When Marnie was there is a drama film that was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi.

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Anna a introverted 12 year old girl is sent to live with fosters parents in an area with cleaner air after a recent asthma attack.

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While exploring her new temporary home Anna comes across an old mansion which has been empty for years, when she goes home that night in a dream sequence she sees a blond girl in the window of the mansion.

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The next night thinking nothing of the dream Anna visits a festival in the town but unfortunately falls out with a local girl prompting Anna to run away to the mansion where she sees the same blond girl from her dream. The two girls become fast friends and learn that they each have a lot in common and a lot of secrets that they must promise not to tell anyone about.

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I didn’t really enjoy this one, I found the overall pace quite slow and the story I struggled to get into but that does not mean its a bad film. I really liked the bond between Anna and Marnie they both seem very similar and perfect friends and the reasoning for this is explained in the films ending.

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I also love the nighttime animation in the film, I’m not really sure why but I think it was the use of how light glowed in the darkness, it had a quite a whimsical feeling to it and was beautiful to take in.

Unfortunately I cant say much else about this one, there were elements that I really liked by overall I didn’t enjoy it but that is just me I am sure that it has a lot of fans that would disagree.

Thankyou for joining me this Christmas in my experience with the Studio Ghibli movies, these films while not all masterpieces are really very special movies, you can tell a lot of heart and love went into all of them, some of these are my favourite animated films of all time and most of them I would recommend viewing

Merry Christmas to all of my readers, I am going to take a break now until January to spend time with family, I hope you continue to enjoy my content in the New Year and thank-you for reading my blog this year and all of the years prior.

Happy Holidays

I hope you enjoyed this review of  When Marnie Was There

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The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) Review

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The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a fantasy-drama film directed by Isao Takahata

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A poor bamboo cutter finds a tiny girl inside of a glowing bamboo stalk, he believes that she is a divine presence and takes her home to his wife, the girl quickly turns into a baby and then continues to grow rapidly into a young adult, her father finds gold growing from the bamboo stalk they found her in, he uses these to prove her define royalty and moves the family into a mansion where she is trained to become a proper princess, the girl who is later named Princess Kaguya had no choice in any of this and wants more than anything to go home to her friends.

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Chloe-Grace Moretz voices the Princess in the film and she is absolutely outstanding, she gives a very emotional performance that is convincing and at times heart breaking, this is the best performance in a Ghibli film yet. Everyone does a great job voicing their characters but no one comes even as close as Chloe does, it felt like Chloe was born to voice this character she was that good.

I love art style used in the film, it looks like a fine painting that has been brought to life by Ghibli magic, its honestly beautiful and makes the film well worth a watch even if you don’t enjoy the plot.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya really surprised me, I didn’t expect to enjoy this film as much as I did, I think this is is one of my favourite animated movies now, its really breathtaking and genuinely amazing to watch, the performances are fantastic which helps to make this wonderful film even better, the music is some of the best we have heard from the studio, everything about this movie is just great and I love it.

I hope you enjoyed this review of  The Tale of Princess Kaguya.

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The Wind Rises (2013) Review

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The Wind Rises is a biopic of Jiro Horikshi who invented the Mitsubishi AM5 a Japanese fighter plane that was used in World War 2. This was stated to be Hayao Miyazaki’s last ever feature film before his retirement making it a very important part of film history.

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I love how ambitious of an inventor Jiro is in the film, I think this is a personal thing because I am very creative myself and I am very passionate about the things that I have made so I felt very connected to this character.

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The dream sequences were my favourite part of the movie, they were all very creative and full of the imaginative imagery that you would expect from Miyazaki, this isn’t as crazy as some of his other work but it is still fantastic without going overboard.

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There was a romance built up in the movie and while it was fine, I did feel that it didn’t make much difference to the plot and if it wasn’t there I do not think the movie would have been affected.

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Spoiler ahead but I want to discuss how good the ending of the film is, its another dream sequence but at this point Japan had lost the war and it showed Jiro being regretful for making the planes but one of his heroes who appears in most of his dreams comforts him saying that his dream has been realised, the film ends on a sweet but sour note yes Jiro achieved his dream but at the cost that his dream was used to take many lives in one of the worst times in history.

The Wind Rises is a really interesting movie, it focuses more on the character and his inventions than it does the tragedy of war, I suppose if you wanted to see the effects of war you can watch Grave of the Fireflies, I really don’t know what to think of this one I really enjoyed it but it didn’t impact me the same way as Miyazaki’s other films, this one is really good and educational with some big names in its cast, Joseph Gordan Levitt, Elijah Wood, Martin Short and many others. I don’t its a movie to watch countless times but one viewing is well worth your while.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Wind Rises

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From up on Poppy Hill (2011) Review

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From up on Poppy Hill is a Drama film that was directed by Goro Miyazaki with the film based on a screen play written by his father Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa.

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Umi is a young girl who attends a boarding school called Coquelicot Manor in Japan. Here she meets Shun a young male student after he ends up in the school newspaper after committing to a Dare Devil stunt.

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Umi and Shun become very close throughout the film end work together to try and convince the chairman of the boarding school to not demolish it but the main mystery is whether they are actually lost siblings as both of them have the same photograph of a man who they believe to be there father.

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I will be honest and say that I have never been too fond of this film, I have always found it to be a little bit boring and the story feels like a plot that I have seen a thousand times before, however the voice acting is probably some of the best out of all the Ghibli movies, A lot of effort and heart went into all of these performances and while the only  recognisable name may be Jamie- Lee- Curtis everyone did a fantastic job and its the passion in the voice work that I think makes the film stand out among others.

From up on Poppy Hill will probably never be a film that I would say needs to be seen but it has a lot of heart and some amazing voice work, I wish the plot had a little bit more to it but overall I would say that one is just ok at best.

I hope you enjoyed this review of From up on Poppy Hill

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The Secret World of Arrietty (2010) Review

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The Secret World of Arrietty was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and is based on the Borrowers book.

Arrietty and her family are creatures called borrowers, borrowers are very small people who love in the holes of regular sized peoples homes, they borrow small amounts of food and materials from humans to survive hence the name borrowers.

While exploring the outside world Arrietty gets spotted by a human named Sho, Sho is incredibly friendly towards Arrietty and considers her a friend, Sho is having serious medical issues with his heart and his life expectancy is low due to this, he values life which could be why he is so kind towards a borrower.

Not all of the humans are as kind though as the house keeper Haru finds and captures Arrietty’s mother leaving Sho and Arrietty working together to rescue her before she is killed by the exterminators Haru hired.

My favourite part of the movie was not the story or characters but the world that borrowers live in, I love their tiny home that are made out of materials from our world,it’s really very charming.

I really enjoyed the bond between Arrietty and her family as well as the relationship that forms between herself and Sho,

The Secret World of Arrietty is a really good movie that I feel may be overlooked as just a borrowers film because it really is a lot more than that, it is a borrowers movie but unlike other adaptations this is not a comedy and has a hell of a lot of heart and love that was pumped into it and is my favourite adaption of the book even if it is very loose.

If you want to watch a really good family film then the Secret World of Arrietty is for you.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Secret World of Arrietty

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Ponyo (2008) Review

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Written and Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Ponyo is a fantasy-film loosely based on ideas from the Hans Christian Anderson story the Little Mermaid.

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A close encounter with a fishing trawler causes a young human-fish hybrid creature to become separated from her family and trapped in a glass-jar which washes up on shore in a small town. The fish creature is discovered by a young boy named Sosuke who names it Ponyo and takes care of it.

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Sosuke wants to keep Ponyo as a friend but her father voiced by Liam Neeson is desperate to get his daughter back in order to prevent the ocean from becoming unbalanced and colliding with the land.

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Ponyo is a quite bizzare movie, not in its premise but more in things that happen, later on in the film Ponyo grows arms and legs and begins to evolve into a human and it is this form that I enjoy the most. The bond between the two children is adorable and while Ponyo is a wild and excitable character she is never annoying  and is very likeable.

7f2 I am in love with the visual style of this film, the colours used blend perfectly with the animation.

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One of my favourite designs is of the Goddess of Mercy Granmamare who is Ponyo’s mother, she is truly stunning in her design with a glow effect added to emphasise her importance and grandeur.

Ponyo is not one of my favourite films and its far from one of the best films from Studio Ghibli but it melts my heart with how cute the story is and its hard not to enjoy its silliness at times, I don’t watch this one often but every now again I need a little bit of Ponyo to brighten my day.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Ponyo

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Tales from earthsea (2006) Review

Tales from earthsea is a fantasy-action film directed by Goro Miyazaki the son of Hayao Miyazaki

In a land of what was once peace strange occurrences have caused the people to go mad and the dragons to attack eachother in vicious battles in the sky.

A well respected wizard named Sparrow Hawk is investigating the cause of horrors that have taken over the land and on his travels he meets a young Prince named Arren who had killed his father due to the chaos that has caused people to act differently, after rescuing Arren from a pack of wolves Sparrow Hawk takes him to help on the quest to discover the evil that has corrupted the land and save Earthsea.

The characters are all memorable in this film but in my opinion the best performance is by William Defoe who voices Yuko the main antagonist and dark scorcerer, he talks in whispers that are quite frightening and will send chills down the spine of the bravest man.

The animation and visuals are spectacular, they move smoothly and are somewhat realistic considering the genre of the film, for an animated feature everything feels so real and will easily suck you into the story and action.

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The music was composed by Tamiya Terashima, the soundtrack is my favourite part of the movie, this is seriously the best music in a Ghibli Film up to this point, the music is beautiful and helps to keep the flow of the movie going, it truly is fantastic and I might just buy a copy of the soundtrack because I love it so much.


For a film that many consider to be just ok, I have to admit that I don’t agree, I really enjoyed this one and it may be a new favourite film of mine, I would love to hear a commentary track from those who were involved in this amazing film, I am really happy that I gave this one a chance and I recommend that you do too if your reading this .

I hope you enjoyed this review of Tales from earthsea

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