Sunday, June 30, 2024

The Imaginary (2024)

Based on AF Harrold‘s  young adult novel THE IMAGINARY continues the trend for Japanese animators to look to English YA novels for source material. Indeed Studio Ponoc‘s first film was Mary and the Witch's Flower based upon The Little Broomstick. (Also Ghibli used English novels for HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE and THE TALES OF EARTHSEA.)

This time out we get the story of Rudger  who is the imaginary friend of Amanda. When is injured he runs the risk of disappearing because he exists only so long as Amanda remembers him. Finding a place where he can stay safe, he decides that Amanda means too much to him and that he must venture out to try and save her.

Stunningly gorgeous this film is a delight for the eye as well as the heart. It’s a tale full of great characters whose love for each other move us to tears (bring tissues).

I’m not going to go into details about what happens, I will leave up to see to see the film, however there are a couple of things that I do what to mention.

First while the film is hitting Netflix on July 5, the film is currently playing in a handful of theaters. If you live by one, say the Quad Cinema in New York City, do try and make an effort to see it on a truly big screen. There is magic here and the ability to see it big and without distractions will make the film all the more special. My understanding is it will be in theaters through at least the 4th so go.

Secondly I want to ask why Netflix is not giving this a bigger run. Animation, especially from Japan, sells. This should have gotten a bigger release because frankly the film is good enough that I could see it in the Oscar mix at years end. To many times of late Netflix is putting films on their service with no fanfare when a brief theatrical run of more than a couple of theaters could get them money and also get word out on the films that are getting lost.

Thus ends my sermon.

Do yourself a favor and go see THE IMAGINARY. It’s good for your soul.

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