Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Original Title: Mirai no Mirai
Japan, 2018. Chukyo TV Broadcasting Company, Dentsu, East Japan Marketing & Communications Inc., Fukuoka Broadcasting System, Hiroshima Telecasting, Kadokawa, Lawson,Line, Madhouse, Miyagi Television Broadcasting, NTT Docomo, Nippon Television Network, Sapporo Television Broadcasting Company, Shizuoka Daiichi Television, Studio Chizu, The Yomiuri Shimbun, Toho Company, Video Audio Project, Warner Music Japan, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation. Screenplay by Mamoru Hosoda. Produced by Yûichi Adachi, Takuya Itô, Genki Kawamura, Yûichirô Saitô. Music by Masakatsu Takagi. Production Design by Anri Jôjô, Yoshitaka Kameda, Reio Ono, Makoto Tanijiri, Tupera Tupera. Costume Design by Daisuke Iga. Film Editing by Shigeru Nishiyama. Academy Awards 2018. Golden Globe Awards 2018. Online Film Critics Awards 2018. Washington Film Critics Awards 2018.
A small family gets a little larger when mom and dad come home from the hospital with a baby girl that they name Mirai. Older brother Kun is thrilled with his new little sister, but it isn’t long before a home buzzing around the needs of an infant falls into the inevitable chaos that the bundle of joy brings: mom and dad are fighting about sharing duties, and Kun is going through issues with sibling rivalry. Stepping out into his little garden behind the house, our pint-sized hero discovers something magical, the tree in his yard is enchanted and acts as something of a portal to other worlds. The people it brings to him are actually from different time periods of his family’s lineage, including his great-grandfather as a young man and his own little sister as a grown woman (“Mirai” means future), all to teach him about the bigger picture and his place in the timeline of continuity that family constitutes. Lovingly animated with a sensitive touch to its characters flaws and needs, this sweet and unassuming film falters when it pushes its sentimental keys a bit too hard, particularly in the overwrought ending, but it blends its keen observations of the frustrations of everyday life with the delicate magic of its supernatural elements smoothly.