Grave Of The Fireflies
Released By: Central Park Media
Release Date: 10/6/98
Special Notes: Review originally published here
Everyone so often, a film comes along that is so powerful, so moving and so visually striking that everyone has to see it at least once. Grave Of The Fireflies is one of these films. Winner of the Best Animated Feature at the 1994 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, this film is one that you will watch once and will never forget… even if you never come up with the courage to see it again.
This is a war movie unlike any other that I have ever seen in my life. Taking place in the last few weeks of WWII Japan, the entire movie is shown in flashbacks from the now deceased main character, Seita. The movie actually starts with his death and from there we watch Seita becoming orphaned with his younger sister Setsuko after a bombing destroys his village and kills their mother.
Over the next hour and a half, the two young orphans are forced to deal with hardship after hardship as they struggle to survive in a war torn land with little to no help from anyone else as rations and food become scarce.
The Good and the Bad
This is not a movie for everyone but I firmly believe that everyone needs to see it at least once. Everything about this film is wonderful from the characters to the story to the animation and music.
The only flaw about this film that I can really tell is that once you watch it, it’ll be a long time before you’ll ever want to see it again. I readily admit that I cried for a full ten minutes as I watched the end of this film and even after it was finished, the images that I saw stayed with me all night bringing all new tears to my eyes.
Dub vs. Sub
I can’t really comment on this section because I have yet to find the courage to watch this movie a second time. For my initial viewing of this film I watched it in it’s original Japanese and I didn’t have any problems with it.
The music was a wonderful addition to this film and really helped to set the mood to each scene making them all the more powerful.
Not many extras on this disc. Just some trailers and story boards. Neither of which I checked out.
Overall, everyone must see this film. If I were to every consider anything I’ve seen as a masterpiece, it would be this! Striking, powerful, beautiful and breath taking would all be words that you could and would use to watch this film. Just don’t let the kiddies watch this one. While there is hardly any language, the nature of this film is only suitable for those thirteen and older.