A Letter to Momo ("Momo e no Tegami")
WINNER: Platinum Grand Prize, Future Film Festival 2012
WINNER: Best Feature FIlm, Anifest 2012
Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival 2011
Official Selection, Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival 2011
Official Selection, Busan International Film Festival 2011
Official Selection, Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2012
“Seamless in both the storytelling and rendering... an excellent film” - Minhee Bae, THE FILM STAGE
“Manages to capture all the essence of the best Ghibli movies” - Guillem Rosset, TWITCHFILM
These are the last words that Momo’s father wrote to his daughter before disappearing into the depths of the ocean in an accident. Obliged to leave busy Tokyo behind when she and her mother move to her family’s house in a sleepy fishing village, the young girl sees her life completely shattered. Her final, stormy exchange with her father haunts her, as does the letter she carries with her. Some children from the village try to draw Momo into their circle but nothing seems to shake her gloomy mood. Until, that is, an unexpected shock shakes the placid existence she now leads. The first signs are subtle enough. Food stores simply vanish, mysterious voices catch her ear and a trio of furtive shadows flit around the house. Yes, three rather rude goblins with a knack for disaster have taken it upon themselves to lift Momo’s (ahem) spirits — whether she likes it or not.
Following a ten-year absence, director, screenwriter and producer Hiroyuki Okiura — who to the anime world by storm with his debut film JIN-ROH — makes his triumphant return. Okiura invested seven of those years in crafting A LETTER TO MOMO, enlisting the finest talent in Japanese animation for this madly ambitious project in which every frame is hand-drawn, with an absolute minimum of digital effects. The resulting beauty and visual richness is nothing short of enchanting — a true work of art! Okiura, however, isn’t content to offer a technically accomplished film, and his invested MOMO with a storyline that’s both funny and fascinating, peopled with finely honed, complex characters. The worldly and the wondrous walk hand in hand here, and in this respect A LETTER TO MOMO evokes the milestone moments is Studio Ghibli’s filmography, favourably comparable to the family classic MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki. Lively and amusing enough for youngsters and marked by mature themes that will impress the fussiest cinephile, A LETTER TO MOMO isn’t just one of the most remarkable animated films of recent vintage, it’s among the best films of any stripe you’ll see in 2012.
— Nicolas Archambault