The Boy And The Beast (Bakemono No Ko) Reviews

  • Mar 25, 2020

    The cliche fantasy aspects are justified through Hosada's direction of human spiritualism throughout the picture. The lessons learned and the dynamic character relationships are strengthened by flowing, beautiful, action-packed animation. It's some of the best animation to grace his work- the team should be commended. The boy is a brilliantly refreshing coming-of-age character.

    The cliche fantasy aspects are justified through Hosada's direction of human spiritualism throughout the picture. The lessons learned and the dynamic character relationships are strengthened by flowing, beautiful, action-packed animation. It's some of the best animation to grace his work- the team should be commended. The boy is a brilliantly refreshing coming-of-age character.

  • Jan 28, 2020

    Beneath (or maybe parallel to) our world lies a secret land, populated by mythical creatures and governed by a strict, traditional code. Orphaned by his mother and abandoned by his father, one angry young boy finds his way between the two planes and begins an apprenticeship with a tenacious, if temperamental, fighting bear. Together, they learn and grow, developing physically as well as spiritually, but never completely reaching a full, placid understanding. Their mutually headstrong ways stand in the way of such a harmonious accord. This is where the real interest of the film lies, a father-son relationship that's complete with bumps, warts and stubborn deadlocks. Its fantasy landscape is magical and fascinating, colorfully realized and teeming with life. I just wanted to dwell there for the duration. Later forays back into the human world are an unwelcome distraction, even if they lead to greater depth for the main character, and the climactic battle falls into the same category. It's completely out of left field, under-explained and off-key; a poor match for the softer, more resonant touch that was evident in earlier acts. While it's in the sweet spot, The Boy and the Beast is animated magic. The hand-to-hand fight scenes and training montages are especially wonderful, smoothly and precisely animated with just enough exaggeration to remind us it's an anime. Very good when it's in the zone, but that focus doesn't last forever.

    Beneath (or maybe parallel to) our world lies a secret land, populated by mythical creatures and governed by a strict, traditional code. Orphaned by his mother and abandoned by his father, one angry young boy finds his way between the two planes and begins an apprenticeship with a tenacious, if temperamental, fighting bear. Together, they learn and grow, developing physically as well as spiritually, but never completely reaching a full, placid understanding. Their mutually headstrong ways stand in the way of such a harmonious accord. This is where the real interest of the film lies, a father-son relationship that's complete with bumps, warts and stubborn deadlocks. Its fantasy landscape is magical and fascinating, colorfully realized and teeming with life. I just wanted to dwell there for the duration. Later forays back into the human world are an unwelcome distraction, even if they lead to greater depth for the main character, and the climactic battle falls into the same category. It's completely out of left field, under-explained and off-key; a poor match for the softer, more resonant touch that was evident in earlier acts. While it's in the sweet spot, The Boy and the Beast is animated magic. The hand-to-hand fight scenes and training montages are especially wonderful, smoothly and precisely animated with just enough exaggeration to remind us it's an anime. Very good when it's in the zone, but that focus doesn't last forever.

  • Jul 30, 2019

    What starts out as a runaway boy version of Spirited Away becomes a deep examination of our own inner "beasts" with some striking animation and creative storytelling, if not the best execution - in other words, Hosoda may have "bitten off a little more than he could chew" with this one.

    What starts out as a runaway boy version of Spirited Away becomes a deep examination of our own inner "beasts" with some striking animation and creative storytelling, if not the best execution - in other words, Hosoda may have "bitten off a little more than he could chew" with this one.

  • Feb 14, 2019

    After "Wolf Children", masterful storyteller Mamorou Hosoda continues depicting familial relationships in thematic explorations and stirring rare emotions in this meeting between the transformed "Jungle Book" and "Beauty and the Beast" within the realm of "Spirited Away", finding constancy in the charming animation and heart that is more riveting and equally great to the previous aforementioned masterpiece, solidifying his directorial skills as theatrical must-sees at Miyazaki's level of greatness but somewhat more emotionally engaging as well meaningful. (A) (Full review TBD)

    After "Wolf Children", masterful storyteller Mamorou Hosoda continues depicting familial relationships in thematic explorations and stirring rare emotions in this meeting between the transformed "Jungle Book" and "Beauty and the Beast" within the realm of "Spirited Away", finding constancy in the charming animation and heart that is more riveting and equally great to the previous aforementioned masterpiece, solidifying his directorial skills as theatrical must-sees at Miyazaki's level of greatness but somewhat more emotionally engaging as well meaningful. (A) (Full review TBD)

  • Jan 23, 2019

    Heartwarming story of self-discovery, determination, and the family we make.

    Heartwarming story of self-discovery, determination, and the family we make.

  • Dec 28, 2018

    Simply put - the only movie to make me cry after Dead Poet's Society.

    Simply put - the only movie to make me cry after Dead Poet's Society.

  • Nov 06, 2018

    This film was great!

    This film was great!

  • Oct 21, 2018

    This film speaks pretty litterally, but about matter that is both extremly complex and sensitive. Seems as if Hosoda as studied psychodynamic theory of personality extensively before coming out with the script.

    This film speaks pretty litterally, but about matter that is both extremly complex and sensitive. Seems as if Hosoda as studied psychodynamic theory of personality extensively before coming out with the script.

  • Jul 20, 2018

    A beautifully animated adventure that's (almost) perfectly told. Yes, "The Boy and the Beast" has an epic story that, in my opinion, is not as epic as it thinks (especially in acts 2 & 1). The character arcs were on point and the movie, most of the time, is very fun to watch. I did have a couple of major problems with the movie: 1.) Kaede is JUST a love interest. She was introduced late in the movie making her the obvious love interest for Kyuuta/Ren. That was her only purpose. 2.) Why does Ichirohiko look like a beautiful girl!? Had his brother not said that Ichirohiko is his brother, I would not realize that Ichirohiko is a guy. [VAGUE SPOILERS FOR NUMBER 3] 3.) Near the film's 90-minute mark, something unexpected happened. Unexpected because it was unlike the first hour and a half of the movie. It made me form a different (darker in tone) expectation for the film's last half hour. However, the ending is consistent (tone-wise) to what I formed prior to the "thing that happened unexpectedly." This. however, damaged the film for me. Despite the fact that it's consistent (tone-wise) with what I originally formed, I would've liked the darker (tone-wise) ending I formed after the "thing that happened unexpectedly." DESPITE THESE MAJOR PROBLEMS, I STILL LIKED"THE BOY AND THE BEAST."

    A beautifully animated adventure that's (almost) perfectly told. Yes, "The Boy and the Beast" has an epic story that, in my opinion, is not as epic as it thinks (especially in acts 2 & 1). The character arcs were on point and the movie, most of the time, is very fun to watch. I did have a couple of major problems with the movie: 1.) Kaede is JUST a love interest. She was introduced late in the movie making her the obvious love interest for Kyuuta/Ren. That was her only purpose. 2.) Why does Ichirohiko look like a beautiful girl!? Had his brother not said that Ichirohiko is his brother, I would not realize that Ichirohiko is a guy. [VAGUE SPOILERS FOR NUMBER 3] 3.) Near the film's 90-minute mark, something unexpected happened. Unexpected because it was unlike the first hour and a half of the movie. It made me form a different (darker in tone) expectation for the film's last half hour. However, the ending is consistent (tone-wise) to what I formed prior to the "thing that happened unexpectedly." This. however, damaged the film for me. Despite the fact that it's consistent (tone-wise) with what I originally formed, I would've liked the darker (tone-wise) ending I formed after the "thing that happened unexpectedly." DESPITE THESE MAJOR PROBLEMS, I STILL LIKED"THE BOY AND THE BEAST."

  • Jun 18, 2018

    To get it out of the way, it's not as good as the director's other films. It doesn't have the same emotional resonance, lacking the third act punch his previous films had. I'm all for movies that just throw you into a weird world, but they seemed to be making up some of the rules as they went along here making the climactic scene feel lacking and the character reveal twist I had predicted from the very beginning. All that being said...I really liked this movie. Is it flawed? Sure, but when your previous films have all been masterpieces it's fine to do something a little more weird and fun, and this movie is weird and fun. It still has some potent messages about being torn-between two worlds, and while the stuff about the beast within all humans gets a little heavy-handed at the end it's still worth talking about, but at its core it's a fantasy adventure about a boy who grows up in this strange world. The core of the story really is the relationship between the titular boy and beast, and it's charming as hell to watch their relationship develop. You totally buy that these two misfits would grow close to each other even though they're both too proud to admit how much they mean to each other. I also liked the two other beast friends, if only because the trio of them reminded me a lot of my trio of friends in high school which made their dynamic a lot of fun to watch. Overall, it's an enjoyable adventure with enough heart to give it some lasting impact.

    To get it out of the way, it's not as good as the director's other films. It doesn't have the same emotional resonance, lacking the third act punch his previous films had. I'm all for movies that just throw you into a weird world, but they seemed to be making up some of the rules as they went along here making the climactic scene feel lacking and the character reveal twist I had predicted from the very beginning. All that being said...I really liked this movie. Is it flawed? Sure, but when your previous films have all been masterpieces it's fine to do something a little more weird and fun, and this movie is weird and fun. It still has some potent messages about being torn-between two worlds, and while the stuff about the beast within all humans gets a little heavy-handed at the end it's still worth talking about, but at its core it's a fantasy adventure about a boy who grows up in this strange world. The core of the story really is the relationship between the titular boy and beast, and it's charming as hell to watch their relationship develop. You totally buy that these two misfits would grow close to each other even though they're both too proud to admit how much they mean to each other. I also liked the two other beast friends, if only because the trio of them reminded me a lot of my trio of friends in high school which made their dynamic a lot of fun to watch. Overall, it's an enjoyable adventure with enough heart to give it some lasting impact.