A Tree of Palme (Parumu no Ki) Reviews

  • Christopher H Super Reviewer
    Oct 31, 2017

    Having served as a key animator for anime classics such as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Macross: Do You Remember Love?, and Akira; Takashi Nakamura more than proves himself in having a great directorial eye. One aspect of TOP that cannot be denied is the gorgeous art direction and fluent animation. It borrows the post-apocalyptic wasteland's of Nausicaa along with a mix of steampunk and cyber punk aesthetics (Akira) to create something truly mesmerizingly unique. Seriously, every frame of this movie could make a beautiful painting. I can't find the budget for this but I cannot imagine this was a cheap movie to make. I also have to give the movie credit for never lacking ambition with it's multitude of diverse characters and tackling mature subject matter regarding the human condition. Don't let the cutesy character designs fool you, this movie goes to almost David Lynch levels of messed up at times. However, at it's center it's a pretty sweet and touching romance tale that left me quite moved by the end. But ambition can also be a double-edged sword. Supposedly this was initially meant to be a TV show and it shows in the final project. Despite being quite long by animation standards (over 2 hours), the frenetic pacing and jumpy plotting gives me the impression that some scenes were left un-animated. For stretches the movie is moving a leisurely Tarkovsky-like pace only to then be broken up by jarring jump-fowards in the plot (Ex. the transition from the orphan's house burning down to the boat trip). The movie also falls into the trap that David Lynch's Dune adaptation fell into in which a lot of esoteric fantasy-laiden jargon is thrown at the viewer with little context provided. While I feel I got enough of the complicated plot to understand on a basic level, some plot details and character motivations remain a bit baffling. I feel if this movie were maybe 20-30 minutes longer, then we could have had more coherent world-building along with getting to know some of the supporting cast better. By being longer, the overall pacing and story would have been ironed out, leaving the viewer spending less time trying to figure out what is going on. I won't deny that this movie is a mess....but it is....a beautiful mess and despite my problems I will still watch it again due to it's intoxicating art direction, touching romance story and Takashi Harada's soulful music score.

    Having served as a key animator for anime classics such as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Macross: Do You Remember Love?, and Akira; Takashi Nakamura more than proves himself in having a great directorial eye. One aspect of TOP that cannot be denied is the gorgeous art direction and fluent animation. It borrows the post-apocalyptic wasteland's of Nausicaa along with a mix of steampunk and cyber punk aesthetics (Akira) to create something truly mesmerizingly unique. Seriously, every frame of this movie could make a beautiful painting. I can't find the budget for this but I cannot imagine this was a cheap movie to make. I also have to give the movie credit for never lacking ambition with it's multitude of diverse characters and tackling mature subject matter regarding the human condition. Don't let the cutesy character designs fool you, this movie goes to almost David Lynch levels of messed up at times. However, at it's center it's a pretty sweet and touching romance tale that left me quite moved by the end. But ambition can also be a double-edged sword. Supposedly this was initially meant to be a TV show and it shows in the final project. Despite being quite long by animation standards (over 2 hours), the frenetic pacing and jumpy plotting gives me the impression that some scenes were left un-animated. For stretches the movie is moving a leisurely Tarkovsky-like pace only to then be broken up by jarring jump-fowards in the plot (Ex. the transition from the orphan's house burning down to the boat trip). The movie also falls into the trap that David Lynch's Dune adaptation fell into in which a lot of esoteric fantasy-laiden jargon is thrown at the viewer with little context provided. While I feel I got enough of the complicated plot to understand on a basic level, some plot details and character motivations remain a bit baffling. I feel if this movie were maybe 20-30 minutes longer, then we could have had more coherent world-building along with getting to know some of the supporting cast better. By being longer, the overall pacing and story would have been ironed out, leaving the viewer spending less time trying to figure out what is going on. I won't deny that this movie is a mess....but it is....a beautiful mess and despite my problems I will still watch it again due to it's intoxicating art direction, touching romance story and Takashi Harada's soulful music score.

  • Oct 20, 2011

    Yet another animated film I wish I could love, but it is just too flawed to come off as even passable. A Tree of Palme is an often beautiful film with it's lush color scheme and inspired fantasy world so it's never uninteresting. Sadly, the film's plot aspires for greatness (it apparently wants to be a contemporary version of Pinocchio by way of Hayao Miyazaki) but it ultimately is it's undoing. To call the narrative messy would be an understatement, as the plot will go from scene to scene with no explanation of how the characters progressed to that point or even who a lot of these characters even are. Even at 136 minutes, A Tree of Palme feels vastly incomplete. Maybe it should have been a TV series?

    Yet another animated film I wish I could love, but it is just too flawed to come off as even passable. A Tree of Palme is an often beautiful film with it's lush color scheme and inspired fantasy world so it's never uninteresting. Sadly, the film's plot aspires for greatness (it apparently wants to be a contemporary version of Pinocchio by way of Hayao Miyazaki) but it ultimately is it's undoing. To call the narrative messy would be an understatement, as the plot will go from scene to scene with no explanation of how the characters progressed to that point or even who a lot of these characters even are. Even at 136 minutes, A Tree of Palme feels vastly incomplete. Maybe it should have been a TV series?

  • Oct 13, 2011

    A puppet has been given the task of delivering an energy source to an underground society. This movie is a mess. The sci-fi/fantasy setting is interesting but the animation isn't that great. The plot is all over the place and some scenes have no build up at all. Also, its two hours long when it felt like it only needed to be 90mins.

    A puppet has been given the task of delivering an energy source to an underground society. This movie is a mess. The sci-fi/fantasy setting is interesting but the animation isn't that great. The plot is all over the place and some scenes have no build up at all. Also, its two hours long when it felt like it only needed to be 90mins.

  • Dec 27, 2010

    Unfortunately convoluted, but definitely respectable. The unique and gorgeous visuals alone make Palme worth a watch at least once. This story probably needed a full series or at least a multi-part OVA to really tell its story properly.

    Unfortunately convoluted, but definitely respectable. The unique and gorgeous visuals alone make Palme worth a watch at least once. This story probably needed a full series or at least a multi-part OVA to really tell its story properly.

  • Jul 24, 2010

    there was a robot and he climbed up a tree and there was little dots on them with electric inside and he touched one and got electrocuted. He fell down and blood came out and another one came inside of him and he got a sword.

    there was a robot and he climbed up a tree and there was little dots on them with electric inside and he touched one and got electrocuted. He fell down and blood came out and another one came inside of him and he got a sword.

  • Jul 23, 2010

    seems a lot older than 2002, odd but still neat

    seems a lot older than 2002, odd but still neat

  • Robotbling - Super Reviewer
    May 12, 2010

    I'm not one to watch much Japanese animation anymore, but this one stands out amongst the flood of cookie cutter stuff that typifies what is popular these days. A Tree of Palme stirred in the brains of its creator Takashi Nakamura for 7 years before he got the chance to make it, and the world he imagined is a dazzling multi-layered microcosm. If you're a fan of fantasy films, and animation in general, you'll find plenty to enjoy in this riff on Pinocchio. The films makes no effort to disguise its connection to Pinocchio; the protagonist Palme is a wooden robot that goes on a journey of self discovery, slowly becoming more human during his travels with a ragtag group of orphans. At the beginning of the film he appears to be malfunctioning, but we learn his catatonic state is the result of losing his "mother", the woman he was built to care for. When a hunted stranger from another land disrupts his unremarkable existence with a powerful secret, he has no choice but to set out into the unknown world. Words alone won't do this film justice, at least when it comes to the spectacular art direction; the film is worth seeing just for the background artwork alone. The original character designs, none of which resemble the now tiresome anime traditions, are a definite breath of fresh air. And the music, which favors the eerie whistle of the ondes Martenot (similar in sound to a theremin), adds a whole other dimension to the already bizarre atmosphere. The main issue with this film is its plot and pacing which are confusing and slow in parts, respectively. It seems to me that after such a long gestation, the characters and world of A Tree of Palme would have been better served in a television series. Due to the inherent time limitations some of the story moves a little too quickly and without the necessary exposition for it to all make sense. And despite being advertised as a family film, the story has quite a dark undertone throughout, and ultimately leaves the viewer with a sense of fragility and loneliness. All of these qualities make it quite an unusual and thought-provoking film that rewards the patient viewer. This review is a repost from my site: http://www.plasticpals.com

    I'm not one to watch much Japanese animation anymore, but this one stands out amongst the flood of cookie cutter stuff that typifies what is popular these days. A Tree of Palme stirred in the brains of its creator Takashi Nakamura for 7 years before he got the chance to make it, and the world he imagined is a dazzling multi-layered microcosm. If you're a fan of fantasy films, and animation in general, you'll find plenty to enjoy in this riff on Pinocchio. The films makes no effort to disguise its connection to Pinocchio; the protagonist Palme is a wooden robot that goes on a journey of self discovery, slowly becoming more human during his travels with a ragtag group of orphans. At the beginning of the film he appears to be malfunctioning, but we learn his catatonic state is the result of losing his "mother", the woman he was built to care for. When a hunted stranger from another land disrupts his unremarkable existence with a powerful secret, he has no choice but to set out into the unknown world. Words alone won't do this film justice, at least when it comes to the spectacular art direction; the film is worth seeing just for the background artwork alone. The original character designs, none of which resemble the now tiresome anime traditions, are a definite breath of fresh air. And the music, which favors the eerie whistle of the ondes Martenot (similar in sound to a theremin), adds a whole other dimension to the already bizarre atmosphere. The main issue with this film is its plot and pacing which are confusing and slow in parts, respectively. It seems to me that after such a long gestation, the characters and world of A Tree of Palme would have been better served in a television series. Due to the inherent time limitations some of the story moves a little too quickly and without the necessary exposition for it to all make sense. And despite being advertised as a family film, the story has quite a dark undertone throughout, and ultimately leaves the viewer with a sense of fragility and loneliness. All of these qualities make it quite an unusual and thought-provoking film that rewards the patient viewer. This review is a repost from my site: http://www.plasticpals.com

  • May 12, 2010

    A trippy ass Pinocchio bastard child.

    A trippy ass Pinocchio bastard child.

  • May 12, 2010

    [font=Trebuchet MS][size=3][b][font=Franklin Gothic Medium]Beautiful anime that's visually stunning with some intriguing charactors and story. It's a futuristic version of the classic Pinoccio story, the main charactor here is Palme, a robot boy who's in search of self knowledge and a yearning desire to become human. Although I think the story goes on a little too long (2 hrs 16 mins ), it is one of the more underrated anime films that deserves a look.[/font][/b] [/size][/font] [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/movie/coverv/23/239223.jpg[/img]Director Takashi Nakamura lends his artistic eye to this variation on the classic Pinocchio story. While A TREE OF PALME does not always follow a clear, chronological plotline, its subject commands the viewer's attention nonetheless. Stunning visuals bring the film's fantasy realm alive, creating a world in which the surreal is a reality. In addition to being made of wood, this story's protagonist, Palme, is a robot developed with the latest technologies. A TREE OF PALME follows Palme through a series of wild adventures based loosely around the Pinocchio story. Nakamura develops more complicated themes and characters, however, by asking the question "What does it mean to be human?"

    [font=Trebuchet MS][size=3][b][font=Franklin Gothic Medium]Beautiful anime that's visually stunning with some intriguing charactors and story. It's a futuristic version of the classic Pinoccio story, the main charactor here is Palme, a robot boy who's in search of self knowledge and a yearning desire to become human. Although I think the story goes on a little too long (2 hrs 16 mins ), it is one of the more underrated anime films that deserves a look.[/font][/b] [/size][/font] [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/movie/coverv/23/239223.jpg[/img]Director Takashi Nakamura lends his artistic eye to this variation on the classic Pinocchio story. While A TREE OF PALME does not always follow a clear, chronological plotline, its subject commands the viewer's attention nonetheless. Stunning visuals bring the film's fantasy realm alive, creating a world in which the surreal is a reality. In addition to being made of wood, this story's protagonist, Palme, is a robot developed with the latest technologies. A TREE OF PALME follows Palme through a series of wild adventures based loosely around the Pinocchio story. Nakamura develops more complicated themes and characters, however, by asking the question "What does it mean to be human?"

  • May 12, 2010

    English: [i][b]Broken Flowers[/b][/i]...I wanted to like this....I really did. But Writer/Director Jim Jarmusch slightly overestimates how interesting a minimalist Bill Murray performance (ie a constant blank stare) and an anticlimatic story can be. Murray plays a wealthy bachelor who gets unexpected news in the form of an unsigned letter. Apparently he has sired a son but the woman who wrote the letter, a former lover, never told him. That son, the letter tells the hardly moved Murray, is searching for Murray. The movie takes us as Murray goes on his own search to find which of his past lovers sent the letter. Jarmusch can be thanked for not turning this into farce or melodrama, but the point along the narrative spectrum (between laughs and tears) that he chooses is just too low impact. Spanish: [i][b]El Crimen Perfecto[/b][/i]... I recently discovered Alex de la Iglesia at a retrospective on his films. I saw [b][i]The Day of the Beast[/i][/b] and loved his hilarious critique of both the Catholic Church and "alternative" philosophies. So when I saw that his latest was being distributed in the US, I jumped at the opportunity to see another of his rip-roaring satires. I was not disappointed. This film about the perfect crime first shows us an imperfect one: two men who had vied for the same position at a Madrid department store come to blows after one wins and the other loses. The loser accidentally kills the winner and tries to conceal the whole thing. He almost pulls it off, but one of the women who works at the store decides to "help" him. For this ladies man, this wouldn't normally be a problem, but she's not the type of lady he's used to manipulating: she's ugly and she's smart. Iglesia's targets in this anti-romantic comedy (ie a film where the comedy lies in how unromantic their relationship is) are both masculine maschismo and the feminine ideal it perpetuates. Japanese: [i][b]A Tree of Palme[/b][/i]...This anime version of Pinocchio (where a puppet wants to be real) is unnecessarily confusing*. It's not set in some small village like the Disney version, but in some complicated science fiction dystopia engulfed in a unexplained conflict that drowns out the beauty of the allegory. Korean: [i][b]My Beautiful Girl Mari[/b][/i]...This is I think my first Korean anime (oh yeah) and I was struck by how flat the animation seems compared to Japanese animation. I'm not sure whether this is characteristic of most Korean animation, but I'm not really sure where this is going so I will stop.... The movie is set is a fishing village on the coast and centers on two boys who are best friends. One of them is going off to study in Seoul causing them both some anxiety. The main character, who lost his father in a storm at sea, doesn't take this very well. He seeks an escape and finds it in the mystical conjunction of a special marble and a lighthouse. He is taken, physically or imaginatively for the movie isn't always certain about which, to a plane of clouds and fluffy animals. There he meets Mari, a being of this mystical plane. At first they share curious glances and then something more. Their only teens so their love has a certain innocence. This is beautiful, albeit flat, movie. The broad vistas and flights through the clouds are richly colored and rendered.

    English: [i][b]Broken Flowers[/b][/i]...I wanted to like this....I really did. But Writer/Director Jim Jarmusch slightly overestimates how interesting a minimalist Bill Murray performance (ie a constant blank stare) and an anticlimatic story can be. Murray plays a wealthy bachelor who gets unexpected news in the form of an unsigned letter. Apparently he has sired a son but the woman who wrote the letter, a former lover, never told him. That son, the letter tells the hardly moved Murray, is searching for Murray. The movie takes us as Murray goes on his own search to find which of his past lovers sent the letter. Jarmusch can be thanked for not turning this into farce or melodrama, but the point along the narrative spectrum (between laughs and tears) that he chooses is just too low impact. Spanish: [i][b]El Crimen Perfecto[/b][/i]... I recently discovered Alex de la Iglesia at a retrospective on his films. I saw [b][i]The Day of the Beast[/i][/b] and loved his hilarious critique of both the Catholic Church and "alternative" philosophies. So when I saw that his latest was being distributed in the US, I jumped at the opportunity to see another of his rip-roaring satires. I was not disappointed. This film about the perfect crime first shows us an imperfect one: two men who had vied for the same position at a Madrid department store come to blows after one wins and the other loses. The loser accidentally kills the winner and tries to conceal the whole thing. He almost pulls it off, but one of the women who works at the store decides to "help" him. For this ladies man, this wouldn't normally be a problem, but she's not the type of lady he's used to manipulating: she's ugly and she's smart. Iglesia's targets in this anti-romantic comedy (ie a film where the comedy lies in how unromantic their relationship is) are both masculine maschismo and the feminine ideal it perpetuates. Japanese: [i][b]A Tree of Palme[/b][/i]...This anime version of Pinocchio (where a puppet wants to be real) is unnecessarily confusing*. It's not set in some small village like the Disney version, but in some complicated science fiction dystopia engulfed in a unexplained conflict that drowns out the beauty of the allegory. Korean: [i][b]My Beautiful Girl Mari[/b][/i]...This is I think my first Korean anime (oh yeah) and I was struck by how flat the animation seems compared to Japanese animation. I'm not sure whether this is characteristic of most Korean animation, but I'm not really sure where this is going so I will stop.... The movie is set is a fishing village on the coast and centers on two boys who are best friends. One of them is going off to study in Seoul causing them both some anxiety. The main character, who lost his father in a storm at sea, doesn't take this very well. He seeks an escape and finds it in the mystical conjunction of a special marble and a lighthouse. He is taken, physically or imaginatively for the movie isn't always certain about which, to a plane of clouds and fluffy animals. There he meets Mari, a being of this mystical plane. At first they share curious glances and then something more. Their only teens so their love has a certain innocence. This is beautiful, albeit flat, movie. The broad vistas and flights through the clouds are richly colored and rendered.