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Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

tomatometer

92

Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 2

A touching and sentimental anime.

audience

91

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 12,969

My Rating

Movie Info

Japanese filmmaker Satoshi Kon directs his third anime feature with the holiday film Tokyo Godfathers. The story takes place in Shinjuku, Tokyo, on Christmas Eve. Middle-aged has-been Gin, aging transvestite Hana, and teenage runaway Miyuki are three homeless friends who have formed a kind of makeshift family structure. Their bond is tested when they find an abandoned baby while searching for food in a garbage dump. They have no choice but to care for the infant themselves. The group travels

Apr 13, 2004

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All Critics (64) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (57) | Rotten (7) | DVD (14)

In one sense the plot involves returning stolen goods to a thief, but Tokyo Godfathers is really about longing -- for family, for children, for parents and for the lost past.

December 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Japanese animator Satoshi Kon has a striking sense of composition, but I'm more impressed by his storytelling skills.

February 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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Takes anime to a whole new level.

September 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the most moving, enjoyable and wholly unconventional Christmas stories to come along in a long time.

March 25, 2004 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Demonstrates an idiosyncratic human touch. Kon is unafraid of the unseemly and unsightly.

February 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It doesn't make sense to praise an anime movie's acting, does it? Yet you can't help but marvel at the expressive pen-and-ink performers.

February 19, 2004 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Comments (2)
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A likeably larky Yuletide yarn.

December 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Tokyo Godfathers becomes a clever and well-written parody of Christ's nativity.

December 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

No amount of shoehorned-in razzle-dazzle can keep this forced fable from feeling like a shadow of Kon's early work.

December 9, 2013 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

The score grates in places but the script hits the mark, with the potty-mouthed vagrants certain to be a hit with older children.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Depois do brilhante Millenium Actress, Kon conta uma histˇria bem mais simples, mas igualmente tocante e mßgica, brindando o p˙blico com uma belÝssima animašŃo de tirar o f˘lego.

April 3, 2006
Cinema em Cena

It's a modern-day fable with a big heart...

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

A delightfully rambunctious holiday fable about the vital importance of family.

May 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

The film mixes genuinely dramatic scenes with exaggerated comic bits.

March 5, 2005 Full Review Source: NYC Film Critic
NYC Film Critic

Miracles, redemptions and reconciliations happen in the snow-covered Tokyo night.

February 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

A sweet little melodrama of deep, personal wounds being treated by dashes of holiday miracles, and it's enough to bring a smile to one's face.

November 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

this is a movie about Tokyo as much as it's a movie about three friends and a baby.

August 10, 2004 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

The greatest danger for Tokyo Godfathers is that it's read as drama when, in fact, it's a gentle, often delightful, slapstick comedy.

May 10, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Tugs at the heart more than it warms it...a lovely-looking film, but hardly the emotional powerhouse some are suggesting.

March 29, 2004 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Kon provides a gritty depiction of Tokyo street life, but balances it with a dose of fantasy (it is Christmas, after all) and comically exaggerated characters.

March 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Does have a few things going for it, including some effectively dramatic plot points, as well as some unexpected twists.

March 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

A convincing salute to family but, more distinctively, it's also a salute to the real-life difficulty of keeping one together.

March 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

Audience Reviews for Tokyo Godfathers

Meh, not really my kind of anime. It was hard for me to keep interest in this story of a baby found by three homeless people during the Christmas holidays in Tokyo, and their search to find her mother. The characters didn't appeal to me, their pasts and how they became homeless didn't endear them to me, and the art style and animation did nothing for me. I guess I just prefer fantasy or sci-fi flavored animation more.

To be honest, I probably wouldn't have bothered to finish this if I hadn't told the person who recommended it to me that I'd watch it. Perhaps others will enjoy this more than I did. Tokyo Godfathers makes a genuine effort to tell a heartfelt and touching story, it just wasn't a story that I could bring myself to care about.
October 19, 2010
lewiskendell

Super Reviewer

A "delightful" little Christams story.
Beats the hell out of that horrible "It's A Wonderful Life".
December 29, 2009
RCCLBC
Robert C

Super Reviewer

Saw this movie again and I decided that it deserves a higher rating! The story is a little unconventional for an anime, but that's why I like it so much. It's a perfect combination of humor and drama, and boy is it funny! Hana is definitely my favorite character, it's how he/she talks, walks and looks. And I guarantee you, even if you're not a fan of anime, you're gonna enjoy this and have a good laugh n_n

It's beautifully animated, the details, the facial expressions, the colors, the lighting, everything. Love it love it love it!!!!

January 19, 2009
Saxia

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Los Padrinos de Tokio (ES)
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