Though we’ve all been struck with deep sadness at the reluctant news that Studio Ghibli is taking a pause from production to assess it’s position in the world of animation, we can finally afford to turn our attentions and enthusiasms to other independent Japanese production companies that are making splashes in the foreign markets. Most notably there is Production I.G. who’s film A Letter to Momo has been more than just warmly received in its recent U.S. release.
Directed by Hiroyuki Okiura and originally released in 2011, A Letter to Momo took 7 years from conception to release to complete and went on to win many awards during it’s festival run. And the work is evident in this new beautiful English dub trailer:
The last time Momo saw her father, they had a fight. Now all she has left to remember him by is an incomplete letter: a blank piece of paper with the words “Dear Momo.” After moving with her mother to the remote Japanese island of Shio, she discovers three yokai living in her attic. This mischievous trio of spirit creatures – visible only to Momo – are perpetually famished, creating mayhem in the tiny seaside community as they ransack pantries and ravage orchards before leaving Momo with the blame. Yet these funny monsters have a serious side, and may hold the key to helping Momo discover what her father had been trying to tell her.- GKIDS
While many will immediately draw comparisons between Studio Ghibli and this film by Production I.G. because of the content, and similar themes and styles, I think one should wait to judge until after watching the film. Regardless of the similarities, if the content is as good as this trailer, Production I.G. will be able to count me as one of their fan base.
Unfortunately for the mass majority of those in the U.S., the film is only being released in a limited number of cinemas (at this point only in NYC), check your local listings, or make requests to GKIDS website. Hopefully, this film garners enough success that GKIDS will make the Blu-ray/DVD available soon.