Fantastically beautiful in both expected and unexpected ways. The animation in the fire scenes was remarkable and surprisingly evocative and scary. Not our favorite Miyazaki but the kids and I both really enjoyed it, though I wonder how much of it they followed in parts. My 8 year old is not exactly as familiar with World War II and metaphors for grief as most folks on Letterboxd.
Maybe seeing in the theater without distractions is why it worked better for me on first watch than some of Miyazaki’s other more fantastical, less narratively straightforward films have. Looking forward to rewatching it again to see if it rises any higher in my Ghibli rankings.
This is actually my first ever Miyazaki to see at release in theater. The third one on the big screen this year though as we saw Nausicaä and Mononoke as part of Ghibli Fest this year. Will definitely make it to a few more when the next one rolls around.
Rating: 4.0 stars