Written and directed by Satoshi Kon, Tokyo Godfathers is an over-the-top tale about three homeless people who find an abandoned baby on Christmas Eve. Vowing to find the baby’s parents, they’re led on a wild goose chase across the heart of Tokyo in the hope of finding answers. With a cast of misfits which include an ageing transvestite, a middle-aged alcoholic and a teenage runaway, we’re able to get a glimpse into three individuals who have somehow lost their way.
Whether it’s their constant bickering or boisterous personalities taking centre stage, the dialogue never fails to convey the harsh reality of living life on the streets. With cutting retorts going back and forth like machine gun fire, the voice acting manages to effortlessly breathe life into the characters and make the most out of every situation.
Quirky, funny and offbeat, Tokyo Godfathers doesn’t give in to its relentless pace and manages to keep viewers glued to the action. This does, however, rob the audience of the chance to make the most out of some of the more sentimental moments which can at times become a little jarring. The music by Keiichi Suzuki manages to capture the magic and wonder of all of the events that are unfolding onscreen whilst sweeping the viewer into a joyous Christmas frenzy.
As to be expected from any of Satoshi Kon’s work, the animation is jaw-droppingly beautiful. With the Blu-ray release enhancing the visuals even further, Tokyo becomes even more of a spectacle as the neon lights shine amongst the snowy backdrop. The facial expressions are immensely detailed, giving the characters a life-like quality while the streets are painfully recreated to the most minuscule of features.
A film with universal appeal, Tokyo Godfathers is still as witty today as it was at the time of its original release 15 years ago. With the Blu-ray release containing some tasty extras about the creation of the film and a breathtaking look at the art, there’s plenty for fans to sink their teeth into.
A film which shows the limitless potential of animation, Tokyo Godfathers is an alternative Christmas classic that’s full of unexpected twists, turns and miracles. A festive bonanza which will put plenty of smiles on many faces.
TOKYO GODFATHERS / CERT: 12A / DIRECTOR: SATOSHI KON / SCREENPLAY: KEIKO NOBUMOTO & SATOSHI KON / STARRING: TORU EMORI, YOSHIAKI UMEGAKI, AYA OKAMOTO / RELEASE DATE: 15TH OCTOBER