#SundayReview The Boy and the Beast
The Boy and the Beast is the latest movie by Mamoru Hosoda, (Summer Wars, Wolf Children) Hosoda’s films remind me a little of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli movies; which are renowned for being the benchmark for big anime movies. I love Ghibli movies, they include some of the best anime movies I’ve ever seen. With Miyazaki retiring from large projects, perhaps Hosoda can fill that vacant spot. And, I really feel he can. The Boy and the Beast is a beautiful film. With sweeping scenes and incredibly detailed backgrounds, the movie is as beautiful as any Ghibli movie.
I remember when I first saw Hosoda’s movie Summer Wars, how beautiful and clean the animation was. The story was intriguing and almost straight away you got a feel for the characters and the world in which they lived. It is a great film, but I feel The Boy and the Beast eclipses it in both story and style.
The story revolves around a young boy named Ren. When his mother dies, he runs away from home and is approached by a cloaked animal-like stranger. He follows the stranger to an alleyway, which he finds leads to another realm populated by anthropomorphic beasts. He finds the stranger there; a huge angry bear-man named Kumatetsu. He is to compete against a fellow beast in order to become the successor of the soon-to-retire leader, who–incidentally–is a leporid monk.
Humans are not allowed in the beast city, but Ren is allowed to stay if Kumatetsu takes him as an apprentice, which he reluctantly does and renames Ren, Kyuta. So begins an emotional story about loyalty, friendship, personal growth and relationships. As Kumatetsu trains for a fight with another would-be successor, he teaches Kyuta. But Kyuta wishes to become even stronger, so he secretly shadows Kumatetsu during his exercises. Through the film we watch him grow from a weak little boy into a strong young man.
The artwork in this film is beautiful. There are scenes which I watched over and over as they were so gorgeously drawn. There was one in particular, where the camera takes a 360 view of a busy street from Ren’s view. It is seamless and quite beautifully detailed and vibrant. The creatures in Beast City are not ugly as I have seen in other movies, but so very nearly human and they are quite beautiful in themselves. Their actions and mannerisms are realistic and convincing.
I absolutely loved this movie, and have already watched it a number of times this week. If you like tales of hardship and loyalty, friendship and triumph, the The Boy and the Beast is for you!
F.R. Donaldson lives in scenic Scotland. She is the author of the psychological sci-fi MALEVOLENCE
Posted on June 12, 2016, in #SundayReview, Frankeh Updates, Updates and tagged #SundayReview, animation, anime, film, Ghibli, Hosoda, Japan, Japanese, Mamoru, miyazaki, Movie, review, Studio Ghibli, subtitles, Summer Wars, sunday. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.