This was a busy month for movies because I was finishing a sweater so I had lots to do while watching films.
Whisper of the Heart (04 11 2012) – Another lovely and wonderful Ghibli/Miyazaki film with great soundtrack and music. There are cute allusions to other Studio Ghibli films as well. At the core, this is another coming of age story with themes of growing up, first love, unrequited love, and hope for ever lasting love. The story is about trying to find yourself and having faith. I didn’t know when I started this that the spiritual sequel would be The Cat Returns which is the film I planned on watching after this any way.
My Neighbors The Yamadas (10 11 2012) – A different sort of Ghibli film. The animation style takes a bit of getting use to. The opening sequences was well drawn, but not an essential Ghibli film by all means. Still nice, but not essential watching.
The Cat Returns (11 11 12) – This was a fun and cute one. It isn’t as deep as some of the other Ghibli films, but really funny. I saw the dub which featured Anne Hathaway and Cary Elwes. I would watch it again, but it’s really more like Ponyo in that, it has a stronger young person appeal. I do like it more than Ponyo and The Yamadas though.
Batman: The Mystery of the Batwoman (28 11 12) – It’s an animated month. I love the DCAU. I grew up on Batman: The Animated Series and Kevin Conroy’s Batman beats all the others by a mile for me. The ones in the movies do not compare at all to him. Also the continuity in the DCAU is very good and engaging. B:TAS is one of the best animated shows ever; it had good voice acting, pacing, setting, music and writing. This movie didn’t bring that to the forefront as much as, but I’ll watch any DCAU Batman movie and this one wasn’t that bad. It was enjoyable.
Justice League: Doom (28 11 12) – Over the last couple of days, I found myself watching Batman clips and episodes off the internet, specifically from “Justice League” and “Justice League Unlimited”. This all resulted in me really appreciating the series as I had missed most of it when it was on air. This is the latest movie and I am so glad that the creators of the DCAU still make movies. I hope they keep at it or someone carries on. I am not a comics person, but unlike in the comics, the DCAU has had the more or less the same continuity for the last twenty years. That’s a feat for any show, animated or not and definitely in the world of superheros. While I have been more Marvel about things, I feel more attached to Batman and the ensemble created to the Justice League in many ways. The team dynamic is more balanced in the JL compared to the Avengers. I did miss Hawkgirl/Shayeera in this movie though.
Kiki’s Delivery Service (10-11 11 2012) – One of my favourite Ghibi films (and there are many), but even rewatching it, I was gripped and touched by the story. While it is a coming of age story, I think it is particularly relevant to my life or anyone who suffers an obstacle in their life. The story is once again about finding yourself and being strong. The setting of the film is based on a town in Sweden, but the look of it has slices of many old European towns that I’ve been to including Paris, Bruges, Geneva and more. I do love the feel of Miyazaki’s movies and how the film’s remain so optimistic even with the added realism of life and people. I watched the dub, and I really do like the dub of this movie. Phil Hartman’s JiJi surpasses that of the original. Also forgot that Kirsten Dunst voices Kiki. A very good dub, and an excellent movie.