It's an accomplished, affecting, relentless work.
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Isao Takahata makes survival the thematic core of the story, but he never degrades his characters or fetishizes their suffering.
A devastating heart-stab of a movie, this certainly isn't a family film. It is, however, a beautifully constructed, animated drama.
The movie remains one of the most startling and moving animated films ever. It is also, with the likes of “The 400 Blows,” “Kes,” and “Vagabond,” one of the finest films about being young in an indifferent world.
Rivals the films of Hayao Miyazaki in elevating anime to the level of fine art.
While a child might be affected by the film, it takes the weight of a certain number of years to fully absorb what director Isao Takahata has put up on the screen.
An emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation.
This animated Japanese masterpiece is a war story as wrenching as any live-action movie.
Fireflies makes its doomed subjects seem utterly human, with the wealth of personal details and believable characterizations common to Studio Ghibli's peerless animated films.