By Barath S. (L&T RBG)
Mamoru Hosoda is best known for mixing slice-of-life drama with more elaborate fantasy elements. After such expansive fantasies such as “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time “, “Wolf Children” and “Summer Wars,” Japanese animation master, Mamoru Hosoda delivers a story of such intimacy and unaffected simplicity.
This film follows Kun, a four-year-old boy, who lives happily with his mom, dad and dog. Until one day, when his mother returns with Mirai, a young baby girl. Kun’s mom’s attention shifts to Mirai while dad has to take care of Kun and the household.
Each of the tantrums that Kun throws stimulates the tree in the courtyard that sends him to another time. The young Kun comes to accept his initially unwelcome sister via a series of magical visitations from other members of his family: past (his world war-hero grandfather), present (an anthropomorphic version of the pet dog), and future (Mirai appearing as her later teenage self).
“I was inspired by my own children, especially the reaction of my oldest boy when his new baby sister arrived,” Mamoru Hosoda said. “It was both adorable and fascinating the way he cried, as if she were stealing our love, and I wanted to turn it into a movie.”
Mirai no Mirai, enlightens us that no adult explicitly explains why babies draw attention away from the older sibling. Instead, the older sibling, through their experiences and observations, comes to terms with things on their own. It’s a journey that has a bit of mystery to it: children are observant and bright, but may have trouble articulating their thoughts, and so, with its imagery, Mirai no Mirai aims to both show how remarkable families are that we otherwise might take for granted.
Fluctuating between the minor daily occurrences of Kun’s life and his touching breaks into the past and the future, Mirai no Mirai provides fanciful tale of discovery, acceptance and understanding.
Mirai no Mirai feels like the dream of a very wise child. It is a film that will appeal to younger viewers, but adults will also be taken on a moving journey thanks to some wonderful, magical touches.