Fluctuating between the minor daily occurrences of Kun’s life and his touching sojourns into the past and the future, Hosoda’s film privileges moments of emotion over belabored story mechanics. Thus, it gathers complexity without sacrificing any of its guileless modesty.
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Tempering its flights of fancy with moments of whimsical humour and kid’s-eye realism, this thoughtful treatise on growing pains reveals a realist side of Japanimation that’s all too rarely seen.
Master Japanese animator Mamoru Hosoda makes family films, but not in the way you think. It’s not that his films are suitable for all ages, though they mostly are. And it’s not even that the family unit is central to his work, though it is. Rather it’s that Hosoda’s films stretch the boundaries of both style and content within the family film rubric.
Hosoda has a lovely, light touch and leavens the proceedings with dry, well-observed humor.
An anime version of "Mr. Mom" this is not. Director Hosoda’s clear-eyed story allows for comic moments of fatherly ineptitude but focuses just as often on the marital and familial stress this sudden role reversal causes.
The fabric of the fantasy world depicted in the film lacks the cohesion of its central theme about appreciating one’s place in a family tree.
It’s the work of a true auteur (in what feels like his most personal film yet) presented as innocuous family entertainment.
Mirai casts a spell that works on children and adults alike, but in different ways. Its creator’s artistry and empathy are the connecting links. It may be the animator’s smallest film, but it stands tall. You’ll be enchanted.
Hosoda’s delicate, painterly style is perfect for capturing Kun’s evanescent imaginary haven – and conveying the message about the moral courage needed to leave it.
The latest anime from Mamoru Hosoda (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) is a beguilingly sweet-natured little gem. The film balances spiralling flights of fancy with glinting observations on parenting and family dynamics.