Mai-Mai Miracle is a children’s film that came out in 2009 by MadHouse studios. I would never have expected this film to have seen the light of day, but thanks to my sister’s money and the Fantasia Film Festival, I got my chance to see this film, which I would otherwise probably never get to.
The story is about new friendships and the power of the imagination. There are two girls, one from upper class Tokyo and the other from the farmland, who become friends. Together, they imagine the world around them as it would have been 1000 years ago.
Many moments in this film reminded me a lot of My Neighbor Totoro. Not because there were any Totoro-like creatures on the screen sadly, but more for the reason of the approach they took in both films. Both films are really told through the eyes of the children. If you think about childhood films there are not that many that really capture the emotions and naivety that “real” kids have.
The film at times did not flow as well as I hoped it would. The story switched a lot between the present time and how that time would have been 1000 years ago with different characters and although I understood why they went back and forward, I didn’t really see the link between the two stories.
By the end of the film these two settings did seem to make more sense together, but along the way I just kept on thinking of ways to make a connection between them. In the long run though, I think children who watch this film will still get the main take home message, which is that friends are great, so I think it all works out.
Both the animation and music were very good and consistent. The setting was beautiful, the character designs were unique and the little details added on to everything really showed dedication and made this film stand out. There was this animation used at times, that was similar to a crayon drawing, which I thought looking really awesome. As for the music, I actually did not expect it to be as good as it was. The music can’t be described nothing short of amazing and this is really a soundtrack worth checking out.
Besides the fact that this film did not always feel linked, my overall impression of this film is that I really liked it. It had a heartwarming story that I think works well with an older audience and its targeted younger one. This film also manages to take a spot on my Top 25 Anime Films list! It really is a shame that this movie has practically no exposure anywhere over the web. Having known this walking into the theatre, it is a warming feeling to know that the tickets got sold out and the whole audience did seem to enjoy the film. I really hope Mai-Mai Miracle will get the popularity it deserves soon!