Seven years in the making, the exquisitely crafted A Letter to Momo is the highly anticipated second feature from world-renowned anime director Hiroyuki Okiura, whose 1999 film Jin-Roh met with international acclaim.
Clinging to an unfinished letter written by her recently deceased father, young Momo moves with her mother from bustling Tokyo to the remote Japanese island of Shio. Upon their arrival, she begins to explore her new habitat, meeting local children and learning their routines and customs. However, it’s not long before several bizarre occurrences crop up around the previously tranquil island. Orchards are found ransacked, prized trinkets start disappearing and, worst of all, each morning after her mother leaves for work, Momo hears strange mumblings coming from the attic of their home.
Annoyed by these creepy goings-on and her mother’s refusal to believe them, Momo embarks on a strange and supernatural adventure to discover the source of the mischief, which leads her to a trio of troublesome imps: the flatulent lizard Kawa, the childlike Mame and their hulking ogre leader Iwa. Momo also learns that her visit to the island is in some way connected to her father’s mysterious letter.
After a decade-long absence from the director’s chair, Okiura has enlisted a world-class team of creators, including animation supervisor Masashi Ando, who previously worked on Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. From the painstakingly rendered serenity of the island’s Shinto shrines to the film’s high-energy, ghostly climax, A Letter to Momo is a triumph of traditional hand-drawn animation. This sensitive coming-of-age story is both a child-friendly exploration of loss and an enchanting flight of imagination. –TIFF
Hiroyuki Okiura (沖浦啓之 Okiura Hiroyuki?, born October 13, 1966 in Katano, Osaka Prefecture) is a Japanese animation director and animator. Okiura, who entered the industry at the age of 16 with no academic background, is known for his detailed effects animation in, for example, the chopper attack scene in Patlabor The Movie 2, and more recently his highly realistic character animation in works such as the opening credits to Cowboy Bebop: The Movie and several Production I.G features. His debut work as a director, Jin Roh, completed in 1998, was the recipient of the Minami Toshiko Award at the 11th Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival in February 2000. Okiura’s next written and directed feature film, A Letter to Momo, premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. It was in development for seven years. —Wikipedia
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