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! :)
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.
Normally, I would break down my individual scores with specifics, but since I'm short on time, I'm going to give an overall impression review.
Momo e no Tegam (A Letter to Momo) is a little slow to start at first, but the story unfolds quite beauifully. The writer clearly wanted to paint the picture of an uncertain and fragile child in a new home, a new town, and surrounded by "old" stuff everywhere. As I watched, I began to think about how I might feelif it as me movnig from Tokyo, a city metropolis, to a seaside town in the bay of an island. It would have been a great shock. By the time the story got going, I had formed an emotional attachment to Momo. Her past was explained a bit too, so I was able to undersand why they'd moved and that made it even more emotional. The story had ups and downs, exitement and suspense, but the whole while, I was emotionally involved with Momo's plight and what might hapn to her. Moving on...the artistry was wonderful. They really did a great job with detail work and brought every scene to life! Sometimes, the backdrops seemed like living paintings- as if I could imagine being there personally. I managed to make it to a smal seaside town in Japan a couple of years ago and it definitely brought back memories. The sound was great, voice actors did a fine job of not overacting or under acting. I felt their emotions in every word. The music wasn't anything particular special, but it went very well with the storyline, lifting things up and drumming them down when needed.
I really enjoyed Momo e no Tegamand I think you will too! Take thetime to watch it and grab a popcorn and some Japanese herbal seasoning salt to enhance the experience!
A Letter to Momo. The wonderfully charming and criminally underappreciated movie about coming of age, demonstrated through the mischievous events that surround our main character Momo. A Letter to Momo has a distinctive ambience that encapsulates the blunders of adolescence through a serene and sunny perspective. I suggest watching this movie on a nice bright summer day and you’ll know what I mean. Reminiscent of a Ghibli movie, A Letter to Momo has the same exact whimsicality found within this popular franchise of anime movies. You can even see it in the art style as well as the certain events that come to unfold. With amazingly smooth animation and high quality work, A Letter to Momo uses this to flaunt its characters as well as great scenery. Taking place on a secluded island outside of Tokyo we are thrown into the quaint tranquility of small town island life. Adorning lush green mountain tops, vivid sunsets, bright blue seas, and narrow street ways A Letter to Momo transports you to a placid state of being. This is where eleven year old Momo and her mother moved to after Momo’s father died. The only thing Momo was left to remember her late father by is an unfinished note addressed to her. We follow Momo in this heartwarming tale as we see her go on supernatural adventures in the foreign place she has to call home, as well as the frolicsome foreign beings that follow her around. Supposedly known as “gods” these mischievous spirits found in her attic cause Momo constant trouble from their never quenched appetite and their eccentric personalities. A Letter to Momo starts off slow, leisurely introducing the setting and characters to the audience. The pacing for the first part of the movie is quite sluggish since it delves deep into the exposition but it quickly picks up the pace once we are presented with the spirits. Don’t let the slow start make you not watch this anime because the slowness pays off. From there on the pacing is great and it steadily gives dimension to Momo and her mother through different events. While the characters don’t have as much depth as I would have liked this doesn’t stop the movie or characters from being great. Momo is a well developed character who learns to figure out her emotions she has for her father and overcome her shyness to the island she is staying at. I can't forget the ones who guided her to this state of closure, the spirits. Even with them being super problematic for poor Momo they unknowingly guided her to a better place. From this we are introduced to moving themes such as coming to terms with guilt, finding closure, understanding one another’s emotions, and learning to embrace the new. (as you can tell these all scream coming of age) The presentation of these themes are toned down, making A Letter to Momo sentimental but not in a saccharine way. With this, A Letter to Momo takes coming of age and dials it down to a mix of relaxation and comedy. Coming of age movies have always had a special place in my heart and this one is no exception. A Letter to Momo is super entertaining and actually made me laugh. I have found myself becoming numb to some of the comedy found within anime so I wasn’t expecting any big laughs but those damn spirits really made me chuckle. Plus some of Momo’s reactions were super goofy too. I had a really good time watching this. While this definitely could have been shorter A Letter to Momo is an amazing movie. If you like any of the Ghibli movies or you have watched all of them and you are tired of rewatching them (like me), Letter to Momo is for you.
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.