When Marnie Was There

Alt title: Omoide no Marnie

Movie (1 ep x 103 min)
4.118 out of 5 from 9,721 votes
Rank #553

When shy, artistic Anna moves to the seaside to live with her aunt and uncle, she stumbles upon an old mansion surrounded by marshes, and the mysterious young girl, Marnie, who lives there. The two girls instantly form a unique connection and friendship that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. As the days go by, a nearly magnetic pull draws Anna back to the Marsh House again and again, and she begins to piece together the truth surrounding her strange new friend.

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When Marnie Was There is simply a lovely, moving, heartwarming tale. Really, there's nothing more to add to that. The story is quite simple, but it's narrated in a sweet and delicate way flowing very nicely and effortlessly to a happy ending. It never drags and the pacing is perfect.  The protagonist is a girl called Anna, who is sent by her foster mother to spend the summer with some relatives living in the countryside in the hope that the clean air might help with her asthma. Anna is a sad and lonely child, being adopted she is resentful both of her real parents and her adoptive ones. She feels she doesn't belong, so her reaction is to withdraw into herself, shutting everyone else out. The movie is the chronicle of her summer stay in the country. Things start changing for her when she meets and becomes friends with Marnie, a mysterious girl who lives in a mansion overlooking the marsh. And I won't add anything else to avoid spoilers. The animation is beautiful. The backgrounds are incredibly detailed and the colours are amazing. Many scenes are so pleasing to the eye that you can use them as wallpapers for your pc. I really love how they drew the old mansion. But, in general, the animation is carefully perfected with attention to the finest detail. The soundtrack is very good as well. I think the ending song is a perfect fit for the story. As for the characters, no complaints. Anna is a convincing and believable portrait of what a child in her situation would feel and how she would react. And the rest of the characters are similiarly well presented and built. Really, there isn't a single false note in the entire movie. I cannot but recommend it warmly. Studio Ghibli did a fine job.


Another overrated project from Studio Ghibli. Their movies have notbeen up the standards of movies such as My Neighbors the Yamadas or TheCat Returns since 2012 with The Secret World of Arrietty. While The CatReturns wasn't that great, The Secret World of Arrietty was sosentimental, it's painful. With the exception of Wind Rises, the movieswere overrated with simplistic Tale of Princess Kaguya (at the beginning,of course). I was pretty skeptical about this one. While it started offwith a great beginning, it got boring and annoying when Sayaka showedup. She is a forgettable character who was kind of mean, yet so nice,she's clichéd. Anna bothered me for some reason, it was because of her boyish clothesbut it was also something else, I don't know. Maybe she's just astereotypical pre-teen. Marnie was the standout character of all thecharacters, she was perky, friendly, and mysterious. Anna befriends Sayaka which drops the ball because a lot of movies havecharacters befriending the clichéd nice girl. The art and animationwere still amazing as usual, but I am very disappointed in StudioGhibli for ending up like Pixar. The movie of course got cloying as itwent on whether it's between Anna or Sayaka or Anna and Marnie. It alsoended in a sentimental way. Maybe if they brought Hayou Miyazaki backto directing, he would save the studio and bring it back its glory. Also, I thought Sayaka's voice acting was a pretty bad job. The themesjust didn't click with me, it was boring and sometimes not empathetic.Studio Ghibli tried too hard by throwing in creepy parts and anemotional ending to be like their other movies. The creepy parts didnot blend well and ruined the pacing of the film.

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