Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
This is Miyazaki’s first feature film. It portends a lot of what’s to come in his career: dizzying action, vibrant color, clever stories, strong females, and humor.
It’s not perfect. Character animation is a bit crude, particularly facial expressions. But overall the swirl of images and action against frequently gorgeous backgrounds (almost) make up for this.
Interestingly, as a “heist” movie headed by a flamboyant but cool anti-hero, this is better than many live action movies I’ve seen. The action is cartoony and wild but intricately designed and plotted. The underwater and inside-the clockwork scenes are exciting, even breathtaking. Throw in some antique flying machines (a very interesting “autogyro”) and you have a great piece of entertainment.
It’s not for really small kids if swearing and lots of cigarette smoking throw you off. Overall, though, I give this one 4.5 stars for sheer entertainment value.
Review copyright (c) 2012 by Dennis D. McDonald