Hello all and welcome to another one of my DVD movie reviews. The last time we visited with Studio Ghibli was when I covered a little film called The Wind Rises. This company has been known for putting out high quality animation for some time and I am still looking to secure a cheap copy of Princess Kaguya and do believe the film was amazing. When I saw this beauty used 50% off of $20 I had to get hold of it for my very own. So without further ado I bring you When Marnie was There.
Anna is an adopted young girl who is getting over the fact that she is adopted. She continues to isolate herself from others and as her depression and anti-social behavior worsens her parents send her to a house in the country to try and recuperate. Things look like they were all lost for our little Anna until she came upon an old house on the marsh. When drawing the picture she spied a strange young blond girl in the window. The two form a fast friendship in the night over the marsh and it but things are oddly strange with Marnie and the oddly magical house. There are secrets to be found and stories to be told.
This film brings what you expect from Ghibli to the table. Vibrant colors, beautiful animation and due to the Disney licensing, spectacular voice work. In addition to the other window dressing the soundtrack is superb leading you into the emotional responses that are required from each scene. The characters are richly crafted and even Anna who is kind of frustrating grows into a more likable character as the story develops. The overall story itself is written very well and tugs on the heart as well as other emotions in the right places. This is a beautiful and haunting tail that should be predictable yet still has enough going to surprise you if you aren't extra savvy.
There are of course a few down sides to the mostly up scale film. The Character of Anna is kind of frustrating and I had a hard time getting to like her. Maybe this is a way to better understand her from an outsider's point of view but at the same time as it takes time to get into the main characters head frustration is not what you want to feel from any film at any time. I think the story, while good may have been a little too sappy and sweet at times. I am still uncertain about this point but it is not enough to ruin the film by any means.
If you have the time please check out this film it is a spectacular event that only studio Ghibli could provide.