I never thought I would shed tears for raccoons until I watched this movie. Okay, maybe there are a lot of raccoon testicles and wonky designs, but it's such a fun and charming feature! And it's so beautiful!
Man this movie gets one hell of a bad rap due to what I believe wacky animation, raccoon testicles, and heavy reliance on understanding Japanese culture (which I am missing). Yeah it is a bit long and unbalanced but it makes up for it with some of the most beautiful, honest emotional moments in the Ghibli catalogue.
I can't believe I loved this as much as I did! It's really just so very hilarious and charming! The ecological message is really in your face, but by the end the film is more about mankind's estrangement from the freedom and beauty of nature. It IS just a bit deeper than what is presented at first glance. Also notable for how deeply Japanese the whole thing is. Definitely Ghibli's most culturally specific film.
A tale of displacement and assimilation. Sometimes a bit drawn out. Often heavy handed in its ecological message. But with a lot of fun, funny goings on, deep roots in Japanese folklore, and an interestingly ambivalent message about losing a war.