My Neighbors the Yamadas - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

My Neighbors the Yamadas Reviews

Page 1 of 14
½ October 8, 2016
Not the best Takahata, but still nice. Incredibly episodic, almost bordering on sketch comedy, but it really works for what it is. This was where it really became clear that Takahata was getting bored of the 'anime' look, and as such, this movie looks completely and utterly different from every other Ghibli film. I would say definitely watch this in Japanese, because they butcher most of the jokes in the English dub.
½ October 3, 2016
There's a crabby, gleeful spirit to the whole thing, carried along by animated bursts of imagination, snippets of haiku, and spirited song. Amid all the disgruntlement and dismay, there's a sweet we're-all-in-this-life-togetherness.
April 23, 2016
Easily my favorite non-Miyazaki Studio Ghibli film, this hilarious collection of vignettes about a typical Japanese family plays like a fantastic funny-papers strip. Mixing affable relatability and just a bit of "Calvin & Hobbes"-esque psychedelia, it finds deep meaning and humor in the mundane of familial life. The animation style matches the titular Yamada family: true beauty and life can be found even in the simplest and roughest of places.
½ April 16, 2016
Mind-numbingly boring. Almost turned it off halfway through to watch something else, but forced myself through it.
½ August 10, 2015
My Neighbors the Yamadas is a comedy about a typical Japanese family and the daily struggles that we that they encounter. The film is divided like the comic strip it is based on and features little segments of comedy based on an event. Some of them are not great, but some such as the father and son catch, the father being late for a train, and the son getting home and forgetting his book, made me laugh quite a bit. My Neighbors the Yamadas will not be a fan favorite for everyone, but its anime fans will enjoy it.
June 19, 2015
I loved this movie. It is really simple yet funny and warm. I recommend it to every man and woman who will be married and start a family. :)
½ May 13, 2015
My Neighbours The Yamadas stands out as one of the odd ones of the Studio Ghibli library. Odd as in, it's vastly different from anything else from the studio. The film doesn't have a consistent plot structure, but is rather a series of shorts and scenarios following the daily mishaps, struggles. and traditional dysfunctional and bonding values of a family known as the Yamadas. Unsurprisingly, this is based on a series of Japanese comic strips, and it shows through the animation style, which is also vastly different from any other Ghibli films, going for a minimalistic watercolour animation style that's reminiscent of newspaper comics.

Anyhow, it's difficult to know if the film succeeds at what it's trying to do, let alone understanding what it IS trying to do. If it's as simple as it appears to be, than good! It outlines that families can have many misadventures, struggles in relationships, and disagreements, but it's through the struggles that we learn to bond that much closer, and that in even the worst of situations, family members must stick together and fight off the negatives in order to preserve the positives and keep their ties in place. If it's supposed to be much more than that, than I don't get it. I watched the Japanese subbed version, and questioned whether I should've watched the English dub, which usually translates Eastern references to more understandable Western references. I'm not sure since I haven't seen that version, but a lot of the shorts end with quotes from historical Japanese figures that aren't very clear to Westerns like myself.

While a lot of viewers of traditional Ghibli films may not be prepared for what this film offers, it's a refreshing change and experiment for the studio, and its play on family values and generational gaps that separate the adults from kids makes for a light, simple, occasionally funny and enjoyable film. While it's Eastern culture may be lost on some Western viewers, a lot of values and scenarios aren't far off from what many families may deal with, so a good number of them come across well enough. I should note that the family dynamic represented here is of the late 90's pre-digital age, so while many of its values do hold up, its representations of a family environment are obviously not as current. Doesn't hurt the film by any means, but may be noteworthy to younger viewers. If you were put off from watching this because of how radically different it appears from other Ghibli stuff (I was for a while), give it a chance, and expect a film that is light and a bit slow, but charming and interesting.
April 25, 2015
Beautifully animated in a more minimalist style than Studio Ghibli's usual fare, this film is a pleasant examination of daily life.
½ April 13, 2015
A very surprising tale of tales. If you can hold your own against a movie of the simplest artistry, you will enjoy this full length comic strip. This feature is very relatable and comparable to american comic strips such as Baby Blues, Cul-De-Sac, and Zits. You'll find yourself in the Yamadas familiar positions as they encounter common and unique family challenges for everyone to see.
February 19, 2015
A good movie that wears out its welcome halfway through.
December 22, 2014
A series of shorts based on a comic strip. As that discription might apply there is not too much focus here at least in terms of a story with humor that hits and misses. I enjoyed it alright, but I could only recommend one viewing.
½ September 15, 2014
Japanese director Isao Takahata has a reputation on inadvertently stopping Studio Ghibli's run of A-level masterpieces.

He'd released the anti-war film "Grave of the Fireflies," given a B+ after two greater films that were both given the same rating of an A. "Fireflies" has negative contents of the hauntings and effects of war through the eyes of a soldier and his little sister (it was the most saddest of the studio's works).

Continuing that 4-star run back then was his second Ghibli project "Only Yesterday." It was given the same rating, but it was below the usual standards due to the specific choice of audience that's most interesting for them than the outsiders of that target.

Then "Pom Poko" came out, and it went way down as the least favorable (?) film of the studio with a given rating of a B. This film came out after "Porco Rosso" went soaring with a given rating of an A - the first to do so since "Castle in the Sky" - and hadn't landed back yet to get the run back up.

The drama "Whisper of the Heart" and the dark fantasy epic "Princess Mononoke" managed to do fine during the absent as they brought the magic back, even though both were given the same rating of B+.

But when Takahata made "My Neighbors the Yamadas," he'd redeemed himself and restarted the great run.

The film chronicles the daily life of the titular family of five, consisting a mother, father, grandmother and a teenage son and a daughter. (It's almost like a Japanese version of Arthur's family from those books and the TV series).

The charm and the enjoyment are identical to the Peanuts franchise, as well being the Japanese version of the comic strip. That's one of two main qualities that'd brought this film up to a great level of an A. The other quality is the fun hilarity - (I'd never laughed that hard when watching a Ghibli masterpiece).

It's a unique style that'd resulted in being enjoyably fun and great for families; and you'll just like to watch it again and again. This is the style Takahata should stick to as this is better than doing the traditional anime with questionable content. (A)
September 12, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

My Neighbours the Yamadas seems like the type of film that I would rejoice as a perfect product from Studio Ghibli due to the ideas and subjects that it explores and how much it reflects with my own life. I am a family oriented person, my love and gratitude for them cannot be replaced with any other person or object. Without my parents, I would not be here and without their values, I would have grown up to become a different person. I cannot imagine myself as someone else, even if it means replacing the pain and trauma that I have suffered through. Isao Takahata's My Neighbours the Yamadas explores the common blessings and pitfalls of life and family-centred relationships, but a few minor issues prevents this film from reaching the peak of excellence that Ponyo and Princess Mononoke was able to deliver.

The film was written by Isao Takahata, based off the manga authored by Hisaichi Ishii. I was impressed with Takahata's screenplay here, detailing such accurate, sprinkled with a dash of comedy, description of the life of a modern family. Though the characters are Japanese, their culture and values aren't on full display here but instead, Takahata emphasises more on the emotional aspects that are universally comprehensible. In order for the entire audience to empathise with the family, Takahata deprived the film of major crises events that would make their story unique; it would have defeated the purpose that he was trying to get across in this film. I was able to see so much of myself and my family in the Yamadas, dealing with minor issues that we struggle with every day. This film allowed me to become less selfish and start to empathise with my family's emotions as they too have their own personal difficulties and they don't need my own issues dumped on them. When my father would come home from work, maybe this time I won't spend more time viewing the television and instead use that time to discuss how his day was, this is only one example on how the film has impacted me. My problem with this film is that it runs about 20-30 minutes too long. If this film had a character driven goal that needs to be fleshed out in order to achieve it then an extended running time would be best suited but since this film is essentially plotless, then the running time should be much shorter. Its length also could pose a problem for the younger audiences as it would be difficult for them to get a grasp on the tiny details that make this film so effective.

The film's visual style is quite different and certainly a step back in terms of detail but I was content with it as Takahata and his animators clearly wanted our focus to be on the family members rather than their environment. I am always pleased with directors choosing to experiment on a film's visual style as it allows their film to not only stand out from its competitors, but also to display a sense of artistic integrity that so many films, particularly animation, seem to be lacking these days.

My Neighbours the Yamadas is an example of an animated film that takes risks with its narrative and visual style, yet giving off an overall feeling of accessibility and familiarity. I assumed by now, since I have seen most of Studio Ghibli's films, that there is nothing left in their belt that could surprise me, guess I was wrong.
September 12, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

My Neighbours the Yamadas seems like the type of film that I would rejoice as a perfect product from Studio Ghibli due to the ideas and subjects that it explores and how much it reflects with my own life. I am a family oriented person, my love and gratitude for them cannot be replaced with any other person or object. Without my parents, I would not be here and without their values, I would have grown up to become a different person. I cannot imagine myself as someone else, even if it means replacing the pain and trauma that I have suffered through. Isao Takahata's My Neighbours the Yamadas explores the common blessings and pitfalls of life and family-centred relationships, but a few minor issues prevents this film from reaching the peak of excellence that Ponyo and Princess Mononoke was able to deliver.

The film was written by Isao Takahata, based off the manga authored by Hisaichi Ishii. I was impressed with Takahata's screenplay here, detailing such accurate, sprinkled with a dash of comedy, description of the life of a modern family. Though the characters are Japanese, their culture and values aren't on full display here but instead, Takahata emphasises more on the emotional aspects that are universally comprehensible. In order for the entire audience to empathise with the family, Takahata deprived the film of major crises events that would make their story unique; it would have defeated the purpose that he was trying to get across in this film. I was able to see so much of myself and my family in the Yamadas, dealing with minor issues that we struggle with every day. This film allowed me to become less selfish and start to empathise with my family's emotions as they too have their own personal difficulties and they don't need my own issues dumped on them. When my father would come home from work, maybe this time I won't spend more time viewing the television and instead use that time to discuss how his day was, this is only one example on how the film has impacted me. My problem with this film is that it runs about 20-30 minutes too long. If this film had a character driven goal that needs to be fleshed out in order to achieve it then an extended running time would be best suited but since this film is essentially plotless, then the running time should be much shorter. Its length also could pose a problem for the younger audiences as it would be difficult for them to get a grasp on the tiny details that make this film so effective.

The film's visual style is quite different and certainly a step back in terms of detail but I was content with it as Takahata and his animators clearly wanted our focus to be on the family members rather than their environment. I am always pleased with directors choosing to experiment on a film's visual style as it allows their film to not only stand out from its competitors, but also to display a sense of artistic integrity that so many films, particularly animation, seem to be lacking these days.

My Neighbours the Yamadas is an example of an animated film that takes risks with its narrative and visual style, yet giving off an overall feeling of accessibility and familiarity. I assumed by now, since I have seen most of Studio Ghibli's films, that there is nothing left in their belt that could surprise me, guess I was wrong.
½ September 5, 2014
This highly underrated Studio Ghibli film features very memorable characters that have a lot of fun interactions together and the humour is so funny that it's probably the funniest Ghibli film to date. It's one of my favourite Ghibli films that's not directed by Miyazaki.
½ August 11, 2014
It's interesting and simplistic visual style as well as its lack of an actual plot separate this movie from others of the genre. And that is certainly not a bad thing.
July 31, 2014
Just a series of vignettes of a mildly disfunctional family, with deliciously simple animation and interspersed with some classic haiku
July 29, 2014
Really everyday life stuffs. Get boring in the middle but it does get the point.
May 15, 2014
A beautiful portrayal of life
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