I never thought I would say this, but I finally found something negative about the output of Disney.
Sure, the people at Disney have been the cornerstone of children’s entertainment (and really, entertainment in general) for decades, but it seems to have made the general population think that animation is only for kids, and not for the older folks in the home.
Enter the masterpiece Grave of the Fireflies, which is so effective I feel it was probably truly ahead of its time when it was released. It tells the story of two siblings: teenager Seita and his little sister Setsuko (about four or five years old). They are growing up in Japan, in the carnage of World War Two. That is really all there is to the plot, but as far as the emotionality of the film, it goes deeper than you would imagine.
I have stated before that I am not one who cries much during movies: I feel films have to earn the tears they want the audience to shed. This film earned every single tear that I shed, and there were plenty of them. Seita and Setsuko are two of the most tragic, yet most loving siblings you will ever encounter on celluloid.
Parents, the film is not rated, but (as I viewed the film) I felt it should be a good solid PG-13. There are moments in the film that will remind you of how heartbroken you were in animated films like Bambi, Dumbo, Up, and the end of Toy Story 3. That being said, Grave of the Fireflies deserves its own spot along some of those films as one of the best animated films ever made.
Overall: Five Stars *****