Animated Movies, Reviews, Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli Countdown: ‘My Neighbors the Yamadas’

Share on Pinterest

My Neighbors the Yamadas is probably one of the more obscure releases we will cover. This is true, most importantly, because it lacks the fantasy aspects of the typical Studio Ghibli film and is a simple sketch style that doesn’t appeal to everyone. Me, on the other hand, I love that stuff and thought it was great!

My Neighbors the Yamadas is directed by Isao Takahata and it doesn’t have an over-arching plot. In many ways it felt like Japan’s answer to The Simpsons. It is episodic like a TV show and tells the story of a family called the Yamadas, which includes Takashi (Dad), Matsuko (Mom), Noboru (Brother), Nonoko (Sister), and Grandmother (Shige Yamono)

Each of the episodes is about 5 minutes, and each teaches a little lesson about family life and marriage. For example, one called ‘Father Son Bondings’ is about the attempts Takashi makes to spend time with his son Noboru including awkward games of catch. You also have incidents any family can relate to like when Nonoko gets lost at the mall or when  Takashi and Matsuko have an epic battle over the TV remote, as all good marriages must. It’s just so delightful and engaging to watch this nutty family!

I personally loved the art style, how it flowed and looked like a watercolor painting. It’s refreshing to see something different from Studio Ghibli. I like that both Miyazaki and Takahata have their own vision for films and what they should look like. This may be the most adorable Studio Ghibli film. It’s certainly right up there with Ponyo or My Neighbor Totoro.

The US dub was actually fair, including such voices as James Belushi, Molly Shannon, Daryl Sabara and Tress MacNeille. The dialogue is very snappy and funny. You will particularly laugh a lot of dry wit between Takashi and the grandmother Shiege. They were very funny together.

It’s a pretty simple movie, but if the trailer and these images look appealing to you then give it shot. I am certainly glad I did!

Have you seen ‘My Neighbors the Yamadas’?

Edited by: Kajsa Rain Forden

Share on Pinterest

About Rachel Wagner

Rachel has loved animation since she was a little girl singing songs from The Little Mermaid at the top of her lungs. She currently works in social media marketing and loves to blog and vlog about Disney, Pixar and all kinds of movies in her free time. Her favorite movie is Up and she considers herself quite the Cinderella aficionado seeing every version she can get her hands on. She also loves animated TV shows like Simpsons, Gravity Falls, Star Wars Rebels and more. Follow her on twitter @smilingldsgirl
  • Phoenix Wright

    I saw this for the first time a couple of months ago and I think its pretty good. I wasn’t sure about the simple art style at first, but I think it works really well. Since it was episodic I find it hard to remember everything that happens, but the one bit that I remember the most was the one where Nonoko gets left at the mall

  • Jordan Briskin

    If I may state my honest opinion, I find that the “vignette” format works best in the comics and television, not in film; I prefer a movie with a more linear story.

  • Heard of this one recently as the animation fan in me grows bigger, looks really cute from the art style! I’d check it out if I had the chance 🙂