47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
A Christmas fairy tale,
This review is from: Tokyo Godfathers (DVD)
With such films as "Perfect Blue," "Millennium Actress" and now "Tokyo Godfathers, " Kon Satoshi has rapidly ascended to the ranks of the masters of animation in Japan, side by side with such dignitaries as Miyazaki Hayao, Takahata Isao, Otomo Katsuhiro and Oshii Mamoru.
Like his other films, "Tokyo Godfathers" takes place in modern Japan and part of the joy of the film is seeing the wonderland of Tokyo come alive in vivid animated splendor. To achieve this particular look, Kon filmed live scenes of Tokyo, then animated overtop of the backgrounds, to give his characters a completely realistic environment in which to live their fantasy. The overall effect is really amazing.
The characters are three homeless people, each with a hidden background of severe pain that buries their proverbial hearts of gold. They form a strange, nomadic family, with Gin, a decade-long veteran of the Tokyo streets with a sad and mysterious past, Hana, a slightly pathetic aging drag queen who wants to play the role of mother to the odd clan, and Miyuki, a hard, aggressive teenager who isn't quite sure about the decisions that lead her to this life. Add to that Kiyoko, a foundling baby abandoned in a sack of garbage and discovered on Christmas eve, and the family is complete.
As with "Millennium Actress," Kon effectively weaves together several stories into an complete picture, each thread joining together briefly as it touches the lives of one of the three characters, then separating as they part. However, in the world of "Tokyo Godfathers" there are almost no strangers, and each person met along the path contributes something to the Christmas miracle of Kiyoko.
"Tokyo Godfathers" is very touching and sentimental, as a proper Christmas movie should be. But it is the sentiment and love won through hardships and pain, and the film does not lack for an edge. And then there are miracles, and wonder.
A really excellent movie altogether. It would be a shame if more people didn't get the chance to see it.