REVIEW: Mirai is an Incredibly Fun and Beautiful Film for All Ages
While some people may falsely assume that animated movies are only for children, many great animated films exist that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Recently I was lucky enough to watch Mirai, a Japanese animated film directed and written by Mamoru Hosoda, that was great for kids and adults. Mirai focuses on a young boy named Kun, learning to live with his newborn baby sister, Mirai. Throughout the film, Kun visualizes his little sister Mirai as a teenager from the future along with several other family members from the past who teach him valuable lessons. The film goes back and forth between reality and Kun’s imagination, providing creative and colorful visuals as Kun learns several valuable lessons about life and family.
My favorite thing about this movie is how well it works for both adults and children. Kids will find it easy to relate to the story of Mirai due to the fact that the main character, Kun, is a four year old boy. He loves trains, playing with his dog, and overall is a very imaginative kid. From a child’s point of view, Kun is just a normal kid who has trouble getting along with his new sister.
From an adult’s point of view, Kun’s jealousy and rudeness is understandable for a little kid with a new sibling because he’s still learning about life. Kun needs to be taught basic feelings like empathy and kindness. Kun’s parents struggle to balance caring for Kun and Mirai, with holding steady jobs. To adults, Kun’s parents seem relatable. They’re realistic depictions of parents and have multiple sides: loving, strict, and fun. They love Kun and Mirai, but at times become impatient with Kun’s constant tantrums. Despite the frustration he causes them, they still care for him and encourage him.
Aside from the relatability of some of the characters, this movie is also visually well made. Throughout the movie, Kun is put into scenarios that almost seem dreamlike. During these, the lighting changes and reflects this dreamlike state. In one scenario, Kun is in a train station and everything appears to be different. The design of a station clerk and one of the trains there contrast the style that Kun is drawn and stand out to reflect how Kun feels. Overall, I find this animation incredible and I really do think that visually this movie is beautifully crafted.
While some animated movies may stray more towards being well-suited for kids or for adults, Mirai is able to find a good balance. There are themes of love, family, and understanding life which all work well. Kun sees multiple family members and learns from them. Through this he’s able to better care for his sister and understand that he needs to be there for her. Due to how well this animated movie depicts certain themes and its overall aesthetics, I would recommend this to people of all ages.