My Neighbors the Yamadas

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 9


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,020
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Movie Info

Based on a wildly popular Japanese comic strip, master animator Isao Takahata directs this loosely structured work about that wacky household, the Yamadas. The family consists of laid-back, rice cracker-addicted mother Matsuko; the bland businessman father Takashi, who has illusions of machismo; the fearless, acid-tongued grandmother Shige; the slacker teenaged son Noboru; the younger sister Nonoko, who has a freakishly voracious appetite; and Pochi, the misanthropic family dog. During the film, the Yamadas wrestle for control of the TV remote and they deal with a band of bikers who have invaded the neighborhood, while Takashi has fantasies about being born into a more interesting family. The film's score is done by popular songster Akiko Yano. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi


Critic Reviews for My Neighbors the Yamadas

All Critics (9) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for My Neighbors the Yamadas

  • Jul 19, 2013
    If the world-renowned Hayao Miyazaki could be seen as the Walt Disney of the Studio Ghibli cannon, then the equally talented Isao Takahata can be viewed as the mad scientist. As much as I love Miyazaki's wonderful fantasy-adventures, I always appreciated Takahata bravery in experimenting with the capabilities of the animated medium. Although not all of his films are great ('Grave of the Fireflies' is a powerful anti-war film, 'Only Yesterday' is a very underrated slice-of-life flick, and 'Pom Poko' was an admirable but very flawed effort), Takahata's films always make themselves immediately distinguishable from other films in the Studio Ghibli cannon. Based on the popular Japanese comic strip, 'My Neighbor the Yamadas' is an anime family comedy that has a very unusual look from the usual Ghibli entries. Instead of the traditional anime style, the animation is a watercolor comic strip style drawn completely from digital technology (making this the first Ghibli film to be painted completely from computers). Not only does the animation give this a different feel, but the film also does not adhere to a traditional plot structure. Instead, it is a series of vignettes that account the daily lives of the Yamada family. Such sketches cover issues such as losing a child in a mall, the relationship between father and son, the wisdom of age, and getting one's first girlfriend. The film's biggest strength is in painting a very believable picture of family life that crosses cultural borders and is accompanied by a suitable amount of charming humor. The overarching theme of the film is that despite their flaws, the family still loves each other and the parent's only posses a desire for what is best for their children. The lack of overarching plot will certainly make this an acquired taste for even the most devoted Studio Ghibli fanatics (certainly not recommended for newcomers to the Ghibli catalogue), but 'My Neighbor the Yamadas' is a unique and touchingly honest picture of family life.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Dec 31, 2012
    Here's an experiment that I had never seen before in my life. Takahata is definitely the #2 guy in Ghibli's animation empire. We go from one incredible anecdote to the next while this peculiar middle-class family from Tokyo is not hesitant to show us its varied and unusual personality traits. Animated sequences display simplicity and creativity at the same time, something I had never previously wondered whether if it would be possible. See it. There is no way you can know what you're missing, because it's something refreshing. 75/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 28, 2011
    A chronicle of the Yamada Japanese family, My Neighbors The Yamadas is a coarse, but creative animation output from Studio Ghibli that fragmentary narrates the comical encounters of the members of the Yamada family. A satire of the relevant in marriage, family, and contemporary domestic affairs, My Neighbors The Yamadas remarks a contemplation on the quality of relationships within a family. Raucously lively.
    Jan Marc M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 24, 2010
    This reminds me of the "funny pages" from the newspaper, 3 comic panels which are suppose to elicit laughter, but in fact leaves you thinking, 'who the fuck thinks this is funny?'. That is exactly what this film was like a much of short panels that I assume were suppose to elicit some laughter, I don't know if it was a cultural or if it just wasn't interesting enough, but I only had twenty minutes left until the end of the film and I just turned it off. I just didn't care. Plus in the beginning it felt really preachy and "quote-y". blah.....
    Marion R Super Reviewer

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