2.4 stars. A mini "Hero's journey" in the mold of 'Noggin the Nog', though not quite as wry. It has modest Teutonic power... which is far preferable to the full-on transcendental fascism of, say, 'Star Wars'. The folk myths it is building from seem just as much Slavic as Nordic to me anyway! There is already real heart here, but it has not flowered into the eco-pacifism and folk poetry of Takahata's later works.