Let me start off by saying that I was quite disapointed with this anime movie by Production I.G. Maybe I was just expecting something differen't or actually original or unique, but instead I got "A letter to Momo". Now by no means is this a bad film it is just very unoriginal and also extremely slow-paced. Did I mention that this movie took 7 years to make?
Story- The story is very basic, it follows the protagonist Momo who has moved to an island with her mother from Tokyo. When she arrives on the island she encounters certain "supernatural presences" that I will not spoil in this review. Ultimetly these presences are used as a means to an end to help her grow up and get over a tragic event in her past. Yes it's one of those "growing up" adolesence type movies. It has a very ghibli'ish feel, but never really quite reaches that level. I think a big part of that is the pacing. This movie is 2 hours long and I could feel every second passing by.
Animation- The animation for this is superb, the characters facial expressions are expresive and detailed and the anmation is extremely fluid. There is only one scene in the movie that I believe makes full use of this wonderful animation though and that happens near the end. One other thing I'd like to point out though is how well the water in this movie is animated. I could definetly tell this was done by the same guys as Jin-roh and the original Ghost in the Shell. My main problem with the animation though is they don't animate anything that interesting. The movie is set on an Island so aside from the scenery, the characters and the water (also the supernatual being) there is not much to really appreciate.
Sound- Fully orchestrated sound track. Does the job well enough. Voice acting is good, although I felt a few voices were trying too hard or kind of stiff at times
Characters- Momo is your average adolescent girl. She feels uncomfortable in her new environment and is carrying some emotional baggage. Aside from Momo there is her mother and the supernatural beings that she meets. They all have fairly silly personalities and only seem to be there to either guide her or get her in trouble.
Overall- High expectations are never a good thing. A letter to Momo is a good family movie, but it is not anything new or that interesting. It has been done before and done better. I would say that it would be worth it to watch for the animation alone, but the slow pace and 2 hour run time really hinder it for me.
As someone that grew up on Ghibli, I can be slightly judgemental about animated films. However, I browsed about, saw a description of Momo, and thought I'd give it a try. I was not disappointed. There are very few things that I go out of my way to buy on DVD and this is one of them. I love the animation style, I love the little quirks of the characters, and I love the story behind this. It strikes a great balance between drama and comedy, in a way similar to Wolf Children, and I think it deserves credit for that. One of my favorites.
I put off watching this movie for the longest time! I am so glad I finally got around to watching it! It made me laugh out loud a number of times and cry too! Family friendly for sure. The goblins are so funny and Momo really grows throughout the movie. Her relationship with her mother grows too! The ending is very sweet and makes you wish it were real. Make sure you watch with loud sound because the smallest goblin is hard to hear and it is important to hear him. Also, notice his doodle! Everything he does and says has a deeper meaning/reason. I love that the biggest one pushes her in over and over! ENJOY! :)