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This film, Kaguya-hime no Monogatari (The Tale of the Princess Kaguya), by the famed Studio Ghibli, just completely blew me away. Yes, My Neighbor Totoro, Yes, Arrietty, Ponyo, Big Yes to Spirited Away, yes, yes, yes, but this film is just those and much, much more. The animation can only be described as breathtaking, with its unvarnished sketchiness illuminated by searching, perfect lines, reminiscent of Raymond Brigg’s The Snowman. The story is long and somewhat complex, and because of this the characters feel fully-formed and inhabitable, unlike the so many quick introductions and follow-throughs that say, Disney, offers. The story is sad, without real resolution, a 10th-century Japanese folk tale that has been retold endlessly, and perhaps this is the reason for the resonance of the film.

For those parents who like to walk on the wild side with their kids, there is partial nudity and mentions of the big “D” (yes, death), luckily the North American trailer informs us beforehand of all this profanity so we are fully aware before we allow our most innocent creatures to view such forbidden concepts (completely joking here). All hot-headed sarcasm aside, this was one of those rare moments with film, especially in the family movie genre, where I felt truly lifted to a higher place after watching. I am so happy that transcendent works of art like this exist, and that I can watch with my children and feel like we are all gaining something, together. The trailer is below and the full (english dubbed) movie can be be viewed online here