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Studio Ghibli Challenge #12: My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) Anime Movie Review

My Neighbors the Yamadas poster

Wacky, Fun-filled, different family movie. That is how I describe My Neighbors The Yamadas.

If you have been watching all the Studio Ghibli films chronologically as I did and somehow stumbled on this one right after Princess Mononoke you will feel like this whole movie is like a breath of fresh air. A very simple comedy about The Yamada family.

The story was told in a series of vignettes that really has no central plot. I am not quite sure if the scenes happened chronologically. Anyhow the whole film is about how the Yamada family of 6 (if you include their pet) spend their everyday lives in the most comedic way possible. Their family consists of the Father, Mother, Grandmother, Son, Daughter, and pet dog. Each story tackles unusual family problems such as leaving their daughter in the department store, the close relationship between the father and the son, the experiences of the mother and the father, etc. In all cases, it is told in a comedic and very fun way. What makes this a fun movie is that it shows what family life is and how enjoyable it can be. Sometimes we need these kinds of films just to somehow let us chill and not really think much about the story.

Yamada family celebrating a win

There is not really much to say about this movie except that it is different. It's like a comic book turned into animation. I really think it is pretty well done.

One complaint is that it is 104 minutes long. Maybe if they made it shorter like 75 to 80 minutes it will be good because sometimes they repeat moments that make the movie really predictable and lose that sense of humor.

The Yamada Family being competitive

If you are really planning to watch all Studio Ghibli films, I suggest putting this in the middle. I don't suggest watching this one first because it might leave a bad impression on watching other films. I also don't recommend watching this last because it is different and might not leave a lasting image.

Definitely not my favorite of all their films but for me, it is still a classic because of just how different it is compared to others. Plus it is directed by Isao Takahata, the legend.

The Yamada Family enjoying

If you want to watch an easy-going and not-so-hard-to-think-of kind of film, this one is for you. But if you are not into that, still give this a try.

I will give this a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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