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The Boy and the Beast
(Bakemono no ko)

Directed by Mamoru Hosoda.
With Aoi Miyazaki, Suzu Hirose, Koji Yakusho.
Japan, 2015, DCP, color, 119 min.
Japanese with English subtitles.
DCP source: FUNimation

With a desire to create cinematic experiences that children and adults can enjoy together, Hosoda introduces the young Shibuya orphan Kyuta who stumbles upon a fantastic world of beasts. Kumatetsu—a grumpy warrior beast who lacks social skills but desperately needs an apprentice—takes Kyuta in, and the two develop a father-son relationship that will be put to the ultimate test in this exciting, supernatural adventure. A new father himself at the time, Hosoda incorporated his personal life into the character of Kumatetsu, who struggles with confusion over this new role, while Kyuta grows out of childhood and experiences his own painful ups and downs. Hosoda dynamically illustrates both the tender emotions and fantastic battles with his astonishing powers of visual magic, leaving audiences breathless over stunning, hand-painted landscapes and surprising, ever-changing perspectives. The Boy and the Beast was the first animated film to compete at the San Sebastian Film Festival Official Selection, and it was the largest grossing Japanese film released in 2015—immediately eliciting speculation that Hosoda would be the next Miyazaki.

Age recommendation: 12+

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