2013, Movies

Kaguya-hime no monogatari (2013, Isao Takahata)

This is an animated adaptation of an old Japanese tale – considered one of the oldest of its ilk, apparently. It has an extremely unique animation style, that appears hand-drawn.

So, first off, the unique animation style: it appears hand-drawn and it looks utterly unique for its time. I cannot think of another animated feature that looks like it was created like this. It is apparently the most expensive Japanese animated film ever made up to this point so maybe it was hand-drawn after all.

I don’t have a lot of time or patience for fables and this film’s origin as a 10th century (or whatever) tale feels like a fable. I found the father in particular to be just insufferable but I understand that in a different time he might have been understandable but I just found him oblivious and so pathetically aspirational. (Imagine finding a child in a bamboo stalk and your only resolve is to keep up with the Jonses.) I was on the daughter’s and mother’s side the whole time.

If it is a fable, I’m not sure what the moral is. But regardless of that, this is very well-tread territory. Now, in the 10th century (or whatever) it wasn’t. But that doesn’t necessarily justify making it into a movie now. I’m not sure what relevance this story has for us in the 21st century. I hope that there are few families this could apply to.

But it is very well rendered and among the more uniquely animated films I’ve seen of late. I do feel as though it is worthy of the acclaim at least for its animation.

7/10 for the uniqueness of it even if I don’t really get why it exists

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