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Oblivion Island: Haruka & The Magic Mirror [Import USA Zone 1]
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Description du produit
From the driector of GANTZ and Studio Production IG (Ghost In The Shell) 16-year-old Haruka is on a mission to find her mirror - a precious childhood gift from her mother that mysteriously disappeared. While following a strange fox-like creature in the woods, she tumbles into a mystical world where once-cherished toys and treasures go when their owners neglect them. Join Haruka and her new friend Teo on a roller coaster ride of adventure as they contend with the island's greedy ruler, who wants the mirror for his own evil plan! Special Features: Behind the scenes of OBLIVION ISLAND, A Visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine Battleship Island: An Actual Oblivion Island, Greetings at the Premeire, A word from the cast, Original teasers, Original trailers, TV commercials, U.S. trailer Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles. Special Features Spoken Languages: Japanese, English subtitles. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition DVD.
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The premise is an engaging one: Haruka is an only child being raised in a single parent household. Her mother passed away when Haruka was very young, and Haruka, in her loneliness and dejection, yearns fiercely for her mother and all the comfort of being in a happy family. A chance encounter with a strange creature propels Haruka on an amazing journey into the land of lost things, where to her utter astonishment she discovers that objects abandoned or forgotten by humans are collected by creatures inhabiting another world who live on an Island controlled by the power-hungry Baron (not to be confused with the charismatic Baron from Miyazaki's films). Haruka meets Teo, a creature who initially balks at helping a human, but the two gradually form a close bond that transcends their differences.
The animation is excellent as far as 3D animation goes, but what really captured my imagination as well as my daughter's was the wonderful storytelling and engaging characters. The friendship between Haruka and Teo is beautifully conveyed and each character is well-delineated. Characterization is not sacrificed at the expense of animation effects and I appreciated that. There's also an adorable character, "Cotton" which Haruka comes across as she searches for her mother's mirror, one of the forgotten objects taken from her world. Cotton used to be Haruka's soft toy (a sheep) but in this fantasy world, Cotton is able to speak and move, made possible by a mirror placed within it. Cotton was beloved by my daughter who felt it embodied all the comfort and love children derive from a precious childhood toy. The villain, Baron, is aptly portrayed as an egotistical maniac out to prevent Haruka from getting her mirror, due to the power he considers it to possess.
Watching this film reminded me of certain aspects of Miyazaki's films. The Baron's flying abode for example, was reminiscent of Howl's moving castle in the film of the same name. The whole girl gets lost in a strange and fantastical world reminded me of Spirited Away, although the comparison ends there. The message in Spirited Away was much deeper and philosophical compared to Oblivion Island. On the whole though, I am glad that this "experiment" in trying out something out of my comfort zone proved to be so rewarding, not to mention kid friendly (recommended for ages 8 and up).
Overall this was a very enjoyable film and suited well for all ages (well at least 6 and up; due to mild violence and some scary parts). In fact while the adults have watch the movie only once, the kids have watched it at least once a week since it arrived.
The animation was AMAZING! I can't say enough about that. They managed to make it so that you forget that you're watching 3D Animation. I'm not really a fan of a lot of the new Disney 3D animation because they come off as too cartoony. Haruka looks like a cartoon but not overly so. I don't feel like the CGI was overdone and I feel the lush and wonderful world that was created was something really special in a way that makes me want to see more of this style. I hope that this isn't the last we'll see of this kind of animation.
The role of the scavengers in this story is not entirely clear. Do they provide a real service or are they just thieves who later barter their goods in order to live their meager lives? A lot of questions arise but the bulk of this movie is simply elaborate chase sequences. There's a great deal of eye candy to be had but I found part of the animation disconcerting. All the humans have a plastic doll-like quality to their appearance that takes a bit of getting used to. It's as though every piece of substance in this universe is patently fake.
In the end, I did like this movie, I did enjoy watching it, and yes, I'm keeping it for my collection. I found it very thought provoking, especially in regard to memories and our attachments to objects.