The Yamadas are a middle class Japanese family living in urban Tokyo. There are nine episodes in this film about their lives and it is based on a popular comic strip in Japan. The stories are about the parents Takashi and Matsuko, Shige, Matsuko’s mother and grandmother to Noboru, a son aged 13 and Nonoko, a daughter aged 5. They also have the family dog, Pochi and he has his own doghouse in the yard. Nonoko is accidently left behind at the mall and the family races back to get her. There are stories about the relationships between the parents, the children and the addition of a grandmother. There are arguments over control of the television and the remote.
This family is relatable because they are like American families with the same joy, problems, misunderstandings and circumstances. They love each other and care about each other. The parents want to do the best they can for the children. The parents and grandmother also worry about aging. 3 ½* (I liked this movie)
104 min, Animation directed by Isao Takahata with the voices of James Belushi, Molly Shannon, Daryl Sabara, Liliana Mumy, Tress MacNeille, David Ogden Stiers.
Note: Imdb 7.3 out of 10, 75% critic 76% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.4* out of 5* with 83 reviews.
Special Note: This is the first film from Studio Ghibli to be 100% digital. It is also different because there is not a continuing storyline but short vignettes. The comic strips are by written Hisaichi Ishii and are published with four panels.