Kiriko (Hikari Misushima) and Daigo (Takeru Shibuya) live with their withdrawn father. The two of them are really close, despite the fact that Kiriko is about ten years older than Daigo and doesn’t speak at all. One day when the two of them go to the cinema, a stuffed rabbit flies out of the screen and into Daigo’s arms. That rabbit drags Daigo into another world and opens a door into their family’s past.
The movie starts off promising but then it switches gears and suddenly becomes another movie entirely. A movie I didn’t care for at all and that didn’t make sense.
For the first 15 minutes I was very intrigued and I really wanted to see the film they started there: about a mysterious rabbit from a cinema screen that turns huge and drags two children into an amusement park that turns out not to be quite as amusing as it seemed at first. That would have been an Alice in Wonderlandesque film I would have loved.
Unfortunately after setting up that scenario, in beautiful, evocative images no less (and one of the absurdest moments ever with a tree full of hanged, human-sized stuffed animals), the movie completely shifts the story around and suddenly it’s something else entirely. Unfortunatley it’s a stupid, non-sensical, predictable something else that really didn’t interest me.
I also didn’t understand why they would use this imagery that is so familiar because of Alice in Wonderland, but draws parallels between the story and The Little Mermaid. The father is a pop up-book maker and works on The Little Mermaid (with frankly astonishing pop-ups. I wouldn’t mind owning that version) and the story is told throughout the film. Why not use either mermaid-imagery or the Alice directly, so it fits together?
If the movie had a bit more going for it than the imagery – a decent cast, a plot that made sense, pacing that stopped it from being boring – I might have given it a pass despite the messiness. But unfortunately it didn’t have any of that, so I really can’t.