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Past Films

Mirai (In Translation Series)

  • Director: Mamoru Hosoda
  • Genre(s): Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Animation, Family
  • Languages: Japanese, English, Russian
  • Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 98 min.

This film is part of our In Translation series of recent foreign language films of note.

Mirai no Mirai (original title)
Kun, a little boy, enjoys a happy childhood until the arrival of his baby sister, Mirai. As the new baby becomes the center of his parents’ attention, he becomes increasingly jealous. Little by little, he withdraws into himself. In the backyard where he likes to take refuge, grows a magical family tree. Kun finds himself suddenly catapulted into a fantastic world where the past and the present mingle. One after another, he meets his relatives at different ages: his mother, as a little girl; his great-grandfather, as an energetic young man; and his little sister, as a teenager. Through these adventures, Kun is able to discover his own story. [Gkids]

"A sweet child's-eye view of the world."
- Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter
"Mirai casts a spell that works on children and adults alike, but in different ways. Its creator’s artistry and empathy are the connecting links. It may be the animator’s smallest film, but it stands tall. You’ll be enchanted. "
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Master Japanese animator Mamoru Hosoda makes family films, but not in the way you think. It’s not that his films are suitable for all ages, though they mostly are. And it’s not even that the family unit is central to his work, though it is. Rather it’s that Hosoda’s films stretch the boundaries of both style and content within the family film rubric."
- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"It’s the work of a true auteur (in what feels like his most personal film yet) presented as innocuous family entertainment. "
- Peter Debruge, Variety
"Like Hayao Miyazaki, whose mantle Hosoda is often considered to be on an unofficial short list to pick up, Hosoda tells this child's story at a child's eye level, and the diversions feel part and parcel of that point of view."
- Emily Yoshida, New York Magazine (Vulture)
"Without any preamble, Kun's courtyard refuge turns into a kind of magic zone where no-limits fantasy and recognizable reality unapologetically intertwine in a way that is quintessentially Hosoda."
- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Mirai definitely puts Hosoda in the Japanese industry's top league, showing a similar spirit of high-blown romanticism as Your Name (2016), anime's high-water mark in recent years."
- Phil Hoad, Guardian
"Breathing rare emotional truth into on-screen depictions of small children and the parents who raise them, Hosoda’s unassumingly sumptuous Mirai is a hand-drawn miracle, rivaling Pixar and Ghibli’s efforts to devise family entertainment with a complex and humanistic edge. Merits comparison to works of similar relevance and poetic ambitions, like Shoplifters and Roma, masterworks that share its inquiries about familial ties, parental insecurities, and the inescapable pull of the past. "
- Carlos Aguilar, TheWrap