In his directorial debut, Miyazaki shows off a lot of flourishes that would become his calling cards: smart uses of color, gorgeous landscapes, stunning moments of flight, and TONS of charm. The impact of this film is felt further when you realize the influences it has clearly had on other works (hello Great Mouse Detective!). The only thing that deflates this otherwise delightful caper are the chains that tie it to its source material. Not being familiar with the Lupin…
I can't remember the last time I saw a major piece of American animation that so thoroughly changes the game the way Spiderverse does. A literal "surprise attack!"; this is an eye-popping, innovative, visually stunning party. So many frames of this film will be burned into my brain forever. And this amazing coat of paint brings to life a story that is simultaneously nuanced, heartwarming, and thrilling AF. Way better than it has any right to be, from frame one, up through its spectacular, impossibly-perfect post-credits scene.
This franchise should either be a dark story about Wizards struggling against Wizard Hitler, OR, a dramatic intergenerational family drama, OR, a whimsical adventure about discovering animals.
It cannot be all three. And yet, this movie stumbles like a Hippogriff in a China shop trying to do so, grimly promising 3 more installments of confusing shenanigans.
At least I got about an hour of Katherine Waterston.