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Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror

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Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror

(Hottarake no Shima: Haruka no Maho no Kagami)
Sponsored by: Ubisoft

Canadian Premiere

  • Japan 2009
  • 99 min
  • HD
  • Japanese with English subtitles
WINNER: Nippon Cinema Award, Nippon Connection 2010
Official Selection, Imagine: Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, New York International Children's Film Festival 2010



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Director: Shinsuke Sato
Screenplay: Shinsuke Sato, Hirotaka Adachi
Cast: Haruka Ayase, Naho Toda, Mitsuki Tanimura
Producers: Chihiro Kameyama, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa
Print Source: Production I.G



With no siblings, an emotionally distant workaholic father and a mother who’d passed away several years earlier, 16-year-old Haruka is a lovable yet lonely teenage girl. One day, she remembers a pretty hand mirror her mother gave her, but cannot find it. She also remembers the legend her mother told her when she was a small child—if a sentimental object has vanished through neglect, to get it back, leave an egg at the nearby shrine. The foxes will take this offering, and pay the favour back by locating the object. Of course, Haruka’s mother also told her those clever foxes stole the object in the first place! A silly little fairytale, perhaps, but then Haruka happens to spy a little fox-masked figure absconding with other forgotten items and follows it to a hidden nook—which is in fact the gateway to Oblivion Island, realm of the sticky-fingered fox creatures! And what a place Oblivion Island is! Everything that anyone has ever forgotten, discarded or ignored has accumulated there, so Haruka is sure her mirror can be found, especially with the help of her reluctant new fox-creature friend, Teo. But the ruler of Oblivion Island, the Baron, isn’t pleased with this human interloper…

An absolutely astounding feast for the eyes with a sweet, worthwhile point to make about holding on to one’s memories, for they are what make us who we are, OBLIVION ISLAND: HARUKA AND THE MAGIC MIRROR marks the debut effort in CG animation from the always adventurous Tokyo studio Production I.G—that right, the folks behind PATLABOR, GHOST IN THE SHELL, BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHT, the O-Ren segment from KILL BILL and so much more! Pixar and their American contemporaries better watch their backs, because now that Japan’s most forward-looking animation studio is playing their family-fare game, and playing to win. OBLIVION ISLAND, built on a sturdy storyline full of memorable characters, offers a visual environment almost unprecedented in its complexity and delightful charm. If you thought the cityscapes in TEKKON KINKREET were amazing, wait till you see Oblivion Island—it would take a dozen viewings to even begin to catch and catalogue all the candy-coloured odds and ends that make up this world of wonders. Grab your ticket now, and keep it someplace safe where the foxes won’t scamper off with it!

—Rupert Bottenberg

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