1950s Japan. When her father Tatsuo, a uni professor, moves the family to a dusty old house to be closer to their sick mum, young Mei takes comfort in a strangely wonderful alternative world haunted by soot spirits and magical creatures.
A welcome theatrical re-release for Hayao Miyazaki’s tender, gorgeous masterpiece about two young sisters who move house and befriend a cuddly forest spirit (and a catbus). Smartly double-billed with Isao Takahata’s heart-smashing Grave Of The Fireflies — a far less optimistic view of childhood.
An otherworldly tale of childhood and a definitive work of imagination.
Reviewed by Dan Jolin