Mirai

Discovery Film Festival

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Mirai, the latest anime from Mamoru Hosoda (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Wolf Children) is possibly the sweetest film ever made about sibling rivalry.  In the way only Hosoda can do, it is also a story learning to connect to family, the world, even yourself – all through the eyes of a toddler. 

Kun (voiced by Moka Kamishiraishi) is a bullet train-obsessed little boy who is outraged when his baby sister Mirai arrives, upsetting the family dynamic where he has been (until now) very much at the centre.  His parents valiantly try to balance the demands of a new-born with their young son’s frustration at his new situation.  As mum returns to work and stay-at-home dad tries to get grips with his new role at home, Kun, unable to get the attention he craves (despite many a tantrum) takes refuge out in the family garden.  He comes face to face with a princely man who lives in a palace but is complaining about the poor quality of the dog food the family has been feeding him.  Kun quickly realises that the garden is a magical place, where pets become people, where baby sisters turn into sassy teenagers, where he witnesses his grand-parents meeting and his beloved bullet train turn into something much more sinister. With each magical encounter, little Kun learns some very valuable life lessons. 

Stunningly beautiful from beginning to end, there is lots for young and old to enjoy in Mirai.  Parents will sympathise with Kun’s mum and dad as they try their best to cope with the chaos of family life and children will be charmed by the fantastical elements of the story (although our Head of Cinema found the angry train a wee bit scary).  Hosoda, a new father himself, has clearly been observing his children and himself closely – the result is a genuine delight. 

Further screening dates after the opening weekend will be on sale soon.