ByRosalyn Lim 林惠美, writer at Creators.co
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Rosalyn Lim 林惠美

My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) at a glance

My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) is a slice of life comedy film by Isao Takahata. It is based on the yonkoma manga Nono-chan by Hisaichi Ishii which was originally serialized as My Neighbors the Yamadas. This film is the first of Studio Ghibli productions in the watercolor and comic strip style, done entirely in digital.

Update: Read All Studio Ghibli Movie Review Here!

My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) Trailer

My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) Synopsis

Takashi Yamada and his wacky wife Matsuko, who has no talent for housework, navigate their way through the ups and downs of work, marriage, and family life with a sharp-tongued grandmother who lives with them, a teenage son who wishes he had cooler parents, and a pesty daughter whose loud voice is unusual for someone so small. Even the family dog has issues!

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My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) Review

The Yamada Family
The Yamada Family

My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) follows the simple yet comical lives and adventures of the family of five; the characters are quite adorable and some of the vignettes are just so funny. This beautiful pastel colored film full of family gag is never shy to depict the antics of the characters and the daily crisis of family lives. The condition of the family may look difficult but it is not completely dysfunctional as they lived happily together.

Watercolor style movie.
Watercolor style movie.

The first thing that comes to my mind is that this film has an impressive artwork. Its visual style is not just different from most of the Studio Ghibli productions but most of the animated features produced around the world which makes it really unique. It's really amazing to watch how short and simple comic strips can turn into a feature film by a series of vignettes.

Bother, there is a girl on the phone for you!
Bother, there is a girl on the phone for you!

However, this film lacks a vital storyline that could connect all of the vignettes. As a whole, it may feel lengthy if it has moved to the ones that doesn't make you laugh or keeps you interested. Nonetheless, it is a recommended watch if you loved comedies, family-themed or slice of life films. Although most of the scenes are usually amusing, they also come with important underlying messages for you to discover.

PS. What would happen if Nonoko meets Shinnosuke, say, kindergarten transfer? ;)

Who will like this?

People who love comedy, family and slice of life films as well as aspiring comic or manga artists!

PS. Check out all my Studio Ghibli movie reviews that are available on Moviepilot! Stay tune for more animated features!

Other Movie Reviews (from the same studio)

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
Castle in the Sky (1986)
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
Only Yesterday (1991)
Porco Rosso (1992)
Pom Poko (1994)
Whisper of the Heart (1995)
Princess Mononoke (1997)
Spirited Away (2001)
The Cat Returns (2002)
Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
Tales from Earthsea (2006)
Ponyo (2008)
The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)
From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
The Wind Rises (2013)
The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)
When Marnie Was There (2014)

Details of the movie

Director: Isao Takahata
Producer: Seiichiro Ujiie, Takashi Shouji, Toshio Suzuki
Story: Hisaichi Ishii
Screenplay: Isao Takahata
Cinematography: Not sure.
Music: Akiko Yano
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Starring: Hayato Isobata, Masako Araki, Naomi Uno, Touru Masuoka
Full Credit: [IMDb]
Distributor: Toho, Disney
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese, English
Genre: Comedy, Family
Running time: 104 mins
Budget: USD 20,500,000 est.
Box office: Not sure.

Official website(s)

http://www.ghibli.jp/
http://movies.disney.com/my-neighbors-the-yamadas

Original post from Rosalyn's Blog.
This article is a part of Rosalyn's Animated Movie Marathon.
Rosalyn can be contacted via email and facebook.

My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) Poster