Sunday, November 30, 2014

I Can't Say I Liked A Letter To Momo

I can't particularly argue for any of its merits. There's something about this film that seems like it really wishes it was something else. The style of animation reminds me mostly of big time action films set in crazy Japanese futures, while the story invokes some of the slower, more stylistic films about reconnecting with nature and meditation.
A Letter to Momo is about a young girl who has recently lost her father. Her mother decides to take her back to the town she was raised in for a little peace so she can go back to school. But Momo has difficulties with the change of scenery, the change of life style, and well, the changes going on with herself. However, the town seems to harbor a strange secret... a group of goblins that are intent to monitor her every action.
Particularly in the world of Japanese animation, I've already seen this story played and replayed with slightly different character concepts thrown in... and varying styles of animation. This feels like a much lesser version of My Neighbor Totoro. But without the level of excellence Miyazaki always managed to bring to his films. The director, Hiroyuki Okiura, needs a little more work on his story concepts before he tries to write and direct again. He's an interesting animator, but has not yet figured out the rest of the elements that are necessary to make a great film.
So all that being said, I can't really recommend A Letter to Momo. It's always worth a level of applause whenever someone comes along and tries to make an animated feature film... it's so hard to do. But something like this just proves that not every combination will work.

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