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Time for a much happier Studio Ghibli film for my next review - My Neighbour Totoro. :w00t: Any thoughts to donate? 

100%
1 deviant said Please comment with any thoughts. :)

Who is your favourite main character from Littlest Pet Shop, out of curiosity? :meow: 

38%
6 deviants said Zoe :iconzoetrentplz:
19%
3 deviants said Penny-Ling :iconpennylingplz:
13%
2 deviants said Pepper :iconpepperclarkplz:
13%
2 deviants said Sunil :iconsunilnevlaplz:
13%
2 deviants said Vinnie :iconvinnieterrioplz:
6%
1 deviant said Russell :iconrussellfergusonplz:
0%
No deviants said Blythe :iconblythebaxterplz:
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No deviants said Minka :iconminkamarkplz:

My next Duckyworth's Thoughts review is NEARLY almost done, but I've thought of another meme to fill out - Lamest Villains. :XD: Does anyone have any ideas for villains to put on here? :lol: 

100%
11 deviants said Please comment with any ideas for lamest villains I could put on here. :lol:

Duckyworth's Thoughts

My personal thoughts on films that I have seen!

Bram Stoker's Dracula - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines or How I Flew From London to Paris in 25 Hours and 11 Minutes - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Watership Down - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Coraline - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Home on the Range -duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of The Unicorn - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Rio - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Elephant Man - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Dude, Where's My Car? - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Last Unicorn - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Return to Oz - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Rock and Rule - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Neverending Story - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Dead Space Downfall - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Nosferatu (1922) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Exorcist - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Blair Witch Project - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Evil Dead - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Evil Dead 2 - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Army of Darkness - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
An American Werewolf In London - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Ginger Snaps - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Dog Soldiers - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Haunting (1963) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
THEM! - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Frankenweenie (2012) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Theatre of Blood - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
A Clockwork Orange - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Vuk The Little Fox - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Kis Vuk-A Fox's Tale - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
The Room - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Felidae - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
9 - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Plague Dogs - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Skyfall - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Flight Before Christmas -duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
The Nightmare Before Christmas - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
It's A Wonderful Life - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Lord of the Rings - Return of the King - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Secret of NIMH - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pippi Longstocking (1997) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
The Black Cauldron - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Top Cat (2011) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Land Before Time - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Wild - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Mario Puzo's The Godfather - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pee Wee's Big Adventure - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Robocop - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Spongebob Squarepants Movie - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Wreck-It Ralph - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Princess Mononoke - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Quest For Camelot - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Ed Wood - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
FernGully - The Last Rainforest - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Where The Wild Things Are - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pan's Labyrinth - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Twilight - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Help! I'm A Fish - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Corpse Bride - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Tron - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Cool World - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Cats Don't Dance - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Secret of Kells - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Titan A.E. - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Cat In The Hat - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
The Reef - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Balto - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pokemon The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pokémon 2000: The Power of One - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pokémon 3: Entei - Spell of the Unown - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pokémon 4Ever: Celebi - Voice of the Forest - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pokémon Heroes - Latios and Latias - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pokémon - Jirachi Wishmaker - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pokémon - Destiny Deoxys - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Pokémon Lucario and The Mystery of Mew - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pokémon - The Rise of Darkrai - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Pokémon - Giratina and the Sky Warrior - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pokémon - Arceus and the Jewel of Life - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pokémon - Zoroark Master of Illusions - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pokémon Black - Victini and Reshiram - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pokémon - Kyurem Vs. The Sword of Justice - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Pokémon - Mewtwo Returns - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Brave - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Valiant - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Rise of the Guardians - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Legend of the Guardians: Owls of Ga'Hoole (BAD FILM) REVISITED - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
An American Tail - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Dark Crystal - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Monsters University - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Monsters Inc - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Tron Legacy - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
All Dogs Go To Heaven - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Basil the Great Mouse Detective - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Hotel Transylvania - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
ParaNorman - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Little Shop of Horrors (1986) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Killer Klowns From Outer Space - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Stan Helsing - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
ThanksKilling - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Splice - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Nosferatu (1979) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Something Wicked This Way Comes -duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Frighteners - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
ThanksKilling 3 - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Little Brother Big Trouble - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
The Forgotten Toys - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Gremlins - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Elf - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Elf That Rescued Christmas - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1998) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Polar Express - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
A Christmas Carol (Mickey, Muppets and Jim Carrey versions) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Oz The Great and Powerful - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Frozen - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Black Hole - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Brother Bear - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Oliver and Company - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Atlantis The Lost Empire - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Treasure Planet - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Lego Movie - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Ruby Gloom Cartoon - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Bio-Dome - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
The Artist - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Alpha and Omega - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Return of Jafar - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Aladdin and the King of Thieves - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Belle's Magical World - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Pocahontas 2: Journey To a New World - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Lion King 2: Simba's Pride - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Lion King 1 1/2 Hakuna Mattata - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Emperor's New Groove 2: Kronk's New Groove - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
The Tigger Movie - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Hunchback of Notre Dame 2 - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Bambi 2 - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Lilo and Stitch 2: Stitch has a Glitch - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Boxtrolls - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Rio 2 - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Hocus Pocus - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Hellraiser - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Borderlands - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Howling - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Monster House - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Gremlins 2: The New Batch - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Sleepy Hollow - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Eight Crazy Nights - Part 1 - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Part 2 - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
(THE WORST FILM I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE)
Arashi No Yoru Ni - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Anastasia (Part 1) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
(Part 2) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Nuttiest Nutcracker (Part 1) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Nuttiest Nutcracker (Part 2) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Nuttiest Nutcracker (Part 3) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Atlantis 2: Milo’s Return - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour… (BAD FILM)
Bartok the Magnificent – duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
A Troll in Central Park (BAD FILM) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Labyrinth – duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Big Hero 6 (Part 1) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
(Part 2) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Shaun the Sheep The Movie – duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Freddy Got Fingered (BAD FILM) (Part 1) - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
(Part 2) – duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Lorax (BAD FILM) – duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
Thumbelina (BAD FILM) – duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…
The Spongebob Movie 2: Sponge Out of Water - duckyworth.deviantart.com/jour…


More on the way! :D

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DT: Grave of the Fireflies ~ 1988

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 28, 2015, 10:26 AM
  • Mood: Gloomy
  • Listening to: Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal
  • Watching: Friendship is Magic - Appleoosa's Most Wanted
  • Eating: Chicken in Tomato Sauce
  • Drinking: Tea


Director: Isao Takahata

Rating: 12

My rating: :star::star::star::star::star-half:

 

Hello my friends, and welcome to the next review in the Studio Ghibli Summer. :wave:

Today’s film is one of my personal favourite of the Studio Ghibli films, which may be weird for some people because of how many NEGATIVE emotions is gets out of me. This film is infamous for being one of the SADDEST animated films ever made…. But unlike some of the rubbish I’ve reviewed, it’s sad in a GOOD way. This film REALLY knows how to bring forth sympathy for its main characters like the best Studio Ghibli films, but an interesting addition to this formula is that like Mary and Max, it’s more like a tough slice of life film that doesn’t sugar coat negative things that occur to the main characters…. But unlike Mary and Max, which ends on a hopeful note, it ends on an ending akin to Chirin No Suzu/Ringing Bell – depressing as heck. :cries: And unlike that bland boring film Valiant, this film is how you correctly do a war film – not sugarcoating the atrocities of World War II and the lives that were lost. Prepare to get your tissues ready, because today, we’re taking a visit to the…. GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES. :cries:

 

I’ve read some reviews of this film on the internet, and some people have dubbed this film as ‘the best film they never want to see again’. And in a way, I can see why they may say that – the first time my sister and I watched this film, I remember that the second time we wanted to watch it, we couldn’t bring ourselves to because of how much it depressed the hell out of us the first time we saw it. The film is absolutely BRILLIANT, but at the same time, I can see why people may want to stay away from it after their first viewing, because this film, as is expected of good war films (a film called Barefoot Gen is another example of a film that people have dubbed an absolutely TRAUMATISING war film), goes into some really shocking, sorrowing stuff that stays with many audience members long after the film is over. When my sister and I were about to watch it, we could tell by the music on the DVD menu that this film would make our tears flow like crazy. :cries: But one of the best parts about how depressing the film is in its slice of life representation of the terrors of World War II is that it’s one of those films like Watership Down, Plague Dogs, Felidae, Chirin No Suzu and Mary and Max that doesn’t sugarcoat the intense moments, and that it proves that not all animation has to have happy go lucky endings and feel good themes. It’s one of the best arguments AGAINST that stupid ‘animation is just for children’ excuse some narrow minded fools come up with. :aww: Just as a bit of a side comment relating to this review before I begin, I have been feeling a bit low on steam while writing this review, and because the film is only an hour and a half long rather than two hours, this review will be substantially shorter than most of my other Studio Ghibli Summer reviews. Also, there aren’t really any mythological elements to this film – and seen as a lot of parts of my Nausicaa and Laputa reviews were giving my thoughts on the mythology of the film, most of what I talk about in this review will be an analysis of the emotions of the characters and the emotions I feel because of them. So, long story short, this review will be shorter, but hopefully still entertaining to read. :aww: Also, I wasn’t able to find clean footage of the English dub on Youtube, so even though I’ll mention the actors in the English dub, the version I’ll be reviewing is the original Japanese audio.

So, have you all got your tissues ready? Let’s begin then….

 

This film doesn’t waste any time with delving into the dark moments, as it starts off with the main character Seita, voiced in the English dub by J. Robert Spencer, saying the following line – ‘September 21st, 1945. That was the night I died.’ :ohnoes: Damn… well, I can already guess that it’s not going to end very well for him. The film uses a red lighting scheme when it shows the ghostworld – and I like how it shows the ghosts of the two main characters looking over the last few moments of their lives… Speaking of which, Seita passes away from starvation among numerous other starving homeless people in a walkway. The first of many shocking moments in this film occur – Seita passes away, complete with a fly crawling across his dying face. Two cleaners come along and comment on the American army coming close to occupying that region of Japan, and the numerous corpses that line the walkways. They come across an old fruit drop tin in the hands of Seita’s body, and one of the men tosses it out into the field, and some ashes (and a piece of someone’s BONES – damn :ohnoes: )come out, releasing ghosts of many fireflies into the air, along with the ghost of a young girl, Setsuko, voiced in the English dub by Corrine Orr. She’s joined by Seita’s ghost, and as they smile, Seita picks up the discarded fruit drop tin – almost as if the fruit drop tin has a ghost as well. :o The theme that plays during this scene is chillingly beautiful – it sounds very pretty, but at the same time, it sounds a tad foreboding… The way it changes into that slightly higher pitched part (the music when the train first appeared) gives the impression (to me at least) that despite the beauty of those fireflies that haunt the ghost world with them, they have a seriously dark side to them, and judging the rest of the film – it fits it very well. :fear: Now, here’s my personal thoughts on the fact that this film BEGINS with the deaths of the main characters confirmed – I agree with people who say that the film begins with the ‘happy ending’ -  it shows that the suffering is over for the main characters, and they are finally reunited. It also helps the emotions the film provides come in even stronger – throughout the film, I often hope the characters will turn out okay in the end, but when the fact that they won’t comes back in, it makes it feel even sadder, but at the same time, an analogy for life as a whole – everyone will pass away eventually, that much inevitable – but we hope to make the most of what time we have. The same goes for Seita and Setsuko – even though the war will inevitably be the end of them, I hope the events leading to their deaths won’t be TOO harsh on them. They walk to a train together, and as they ride the train together, they look back on the events that led to their death….. :(

It begins in the final days of World War 2 (more accurately, during 16-17 March 1945) in Kobe, Japan, when the inhabitants of the village Seita and Setsuko used to live in are being evacuated to the bomb shelters, as the American troops begin to drop bombs. Seita buries some supplies in a shelter in the garden, as Seita and Setsuko’s mother remind them to hurry along to the shelter, and she leaves after Sita reminds her to keep her medicine with her – the fact that the mother takes heart medication just makes it even more tragic, in my opinion… Even worse, Sita and Setsuko witness the American planes flying overhead as bombs are dropped onto the village. The sense of terror in this scene as everyone flees their homes and everything is destroyed is very well portrayed – okay, this may sound a bit weird, but one thing I do like is how this film shows that war atrocities are the same for everyone on both sides of the conflict. I understand that the people who were governing Germany, Italy and Japan, the three countries that formed the Axes, may have done some horrid things during their time in power, but that doesn’t mean that the people of their countries weren’t as horrid as they were – the Germans, Italians and Japanese weren’t ALL as monstrous as media portrayed them as. And to convey how horrid the war was, two very well made child characters are made to show the true horrors of war – Seita is a doting, caring older brother who is willing to do anything to help his sister remain cheery despite the harsh state of the world around them, and Setsuko is… simply adorable. I think she’s one of the best written four year olds I’ve ever seen written in media, as from what I can tell, she acts EXACTLY like a four year old child would (albeit in a more tolerable manner than the four year olds I come across in real life :XD: ). She’s adorably innocent and sweet – and to be perfectly honest, the way that these characters are written so well makes it all the more heartbreaking knowing that they’ll end up being two more lives that the war will claim. :cries:

They climb up the hill to their former village, and they see the whole village has been levelled by the bombs, including their home….. and I really like how well the music Seita believes their father, a soldier who is serving in the navy, will avenge the damage to their decimated country, as they watch everyone stare in horror at the destruction. Everyone is soon gathered by the school where they meet up with their injured loved ones, shocked by the horrors that have unfolded. Here’s another credit to the film – I like how this film isn’t a war film that tries to shove an anti-war message in, and it isn’t an overly GORY film. Yes, there are some instances where human bodies are shown, but even if there are shots of corpses, it’s never gratuitous, and it’s over very quickly. The film doesn’t have to rely on tons of gore to get the emotions across – it simply shows the fragility and beauty of life for the two main characters, and how difficult it is to cope in the aftermath of a tragedy. Everyone is evacuated to the local public hall where the survivors of the bombing will meet. And immediately, I have to give credit to how realistic the film conveys the motions of the characters, and how, as well as being to convey characters reacting to mythological and magical elements in the other Studio Ghibli films, the way that the reaction of human characters to relatable slice of life experiences is very well conveyed too. Films like Whispers of the Heart, My Neighbours the Yamadas and this film are more great examples of more realistic slice of life movies – it goes to show the great range the Studio Ghibli directors have in portraying both the fantastical and the realistic. :aww:

A man takes Seita to a hospital ward where numerous severely injured people are being treated to. Oh dear, just how bad was their mother hit - *sees the next shot, with her whole torso left unrecognisable and bloody by burns, with purple lips and part of her nose left visible* OH SWEET HEAVEN!! :ohnoes: Seriously, I literally recoiled when I first saw this scene, that looks pretty realistically portrayed, and pretty horrifying…. I remember when we were looking at the effects of the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan in history class – it was in secondary school, and let me tell you, some photos were pretty graphic, and this film portrays it pretty well…. :fear: She’s set to be moved to a hospital, but she is in very bad shape…. And when Seita tells Setsuko their mother is being moved to a hospital, and that they can move in with their aunt who lives nearby, it’s pretty sad seeing Setsuko’s reaction, as she wants to see her mom, and starts crying… Seita tries to distract her by swinging on the bars in the abandoned playground they’re in, but it can’t distract her from the sadness. The first of many sad moments in this film, folks. :( Coupled with the next scene, where their mother actually dies, and is cremated in a mass grave. The music here never fails to get the sorrow hitting – another example of music that is haunting in its beauty, but is also quite foreboding of the tragedies to follow…

Seita and Setsuko move to their aunt’s house, as their ghostly selves disembark from the train and overlook the aunt’s house… An abode that makes the ghostly Seita look on with a frown. Their aunt, voiced in the English dub by Amy Jones, welcomes back Seita, who comes back with some supplies, and she gives them their room to stay in. The next morning, Seita returns to the wrecked village, and digs up the buried supplies from earlier in the film – I really like the music here – it reminds me of something from an old band I used to listen to named Estatic Fear – a band that sadly only ever released two albums, but is worth listening to – either that, or some of the sadder music from the Klonoa games. Another thing this film does brilliantly is making the decimated urban settings look strangely beautiful – there is a lot of effort put into the backgrounds – even scenes with the village aflame in the horizon is oddly beautiful to me – it shows the horrors of war, but it’s oddly not as off putting as putting tons of gore all over the place – if the film resorted to tons of blood everywhere to get the horrors across, it just wouldn’t feel the same. One thing he recovers from the buried supplies is the fruit drop tin from the start of the film – which is a very important possession to Seita, as we will soon learn. Seita comes back home and drops the news that his mother passed away two days before to his aunt, and that he didn’t want Setsuko to know the news. Instead, he still wants to try his hardest to keep his sister happy despite the hardships they face – such as the next scene, where they share a bath together. Another credit to the film is that as sad as it is, it doesn’t CONSTANTLY throw in heartbreaking moments – it shows some happy scenes too to show how these two tried to still make the most of the state they found themselves in. Such as the next scene, where they go out into the farmland and go catching fireflies to some more beautiful music. :love: Speaking of beautiful, the shots of the fireflies is a very pretty indeed – and I think that the fireflies may actually be symbolic as to a theme of the film, as I’ll explain later. ;)

Seita tells his aunt that his school was burned down in the fire, and that there was no place to go for them, and that the letter he sent his father ten days before hasn’t been replied back to yet. And here’s one of the best Studio Ghibli elements yet again – FOOD. :D At dinner that evening, the aunt’s family talk about how food rations are getting worse, and the war is getting worse too. But in between the hardships of bad food rations and being sent to the shelters, I like how it shows more happy scenes like Seita taking Setsuko to the beach past some very well drawn vegetable fields – the film goes back and forth between the happiness of everyday life, and the fragility of life (especially in war time) very well, without any of the changes in mood ever feeling jarring. Setsuko is especially cute in this scene – like when she calls the sea a giant bathtub, and when she and Sieta chase each other around the beach. I also find it cute when she follows a crab around the beach. :giggle: But it is rather sad seeing a flashback of a happier time at the beach when their mother was still alive – this scene has an almost dream like feel to it when they remember their mother overlooking them playing on the beach. Just as surprising when they’re sucked back into reality when they’re shown that dead body under a tarp on the beach. :(

Over the next few scenes, this is where the aunt starts becoming… difficult. :hmm: At first it isn’t too bad, like when she states that people have been trading their belongings for more food – Seita’s mother’s kimono could be worth 15 kg of rice, but as the aunt takes it away, Setsuko starts crying over the kimono being taken away – as it holds a lot of memories of a happier time for them. :( Over time, Setsuko starts understandably complaining about the fact that all they’re eating is rice porridge, but when Seita promises Setsuko rice balls, the aunt snaps at them and calls them spoiled loafers, and uttering ‘this is what I get for taking in two orphans?’ :ohnoes: WOW – okay, I get the fact that there’s a war going on, but the aunt starts becoming surprisingly unlikeable from this point onwards… Times were tough, but that doesn’t give her the right to start being harsh to two people who have lost a lot already and have no other relatives to contact. The fact that she doesn’t even offer places where they could help (her daughter is at school, and her husband is working for the war effort, so she could have asked them whether they needed any help with anything that Seita could have helped with, and she could have looked after Setsuko :shrug: )  makes me aware that the aunt is just as much to blame for what befell the children.... :(

They take out the remainder of the money that their parents have in the bank, and buy some supplies from a local shop – including an umbrella that may be broken, but is still enough for them to keep most of the rain off – showing that even in such hard times, a glimmer of hope still remains for some people – and at least it gave the shopkeeper some much needed business. :aww: They start eating on their own, but soon, the rice rations are getting less and less – and unfortunately, only eating rice mustn’t be enough to get nutrition out of alone. But they make the most out of what they have – including pouring water into the fruit drop tin to make an odd kind of juice for Setsuko. :aww: But soon – the aunt starts calling them bratty :x, and when Setsuko can’t stop crying because she misses her mother, the aunt starts yelling at her for it… During an air raid, Seita and Setsuko take shelter in an old abandoned cave, and after remembering a previous, where the aunt yells at them AGAIN for singing while taking piano lessons for all things and calls them useless pests :x, they decide to actually take up a snide comment she makes, and decide to live in the cave by themselves, taking lost belongings in destroyed houses, and living off the supplies in the land like water chestnuts, using frogs from the river for food and fallen twigs for firewood. For lighting, they take resource in the local fireflies, for a different kind of natural light – and as expected, this scene is particularly beautiful, especially when they release them all inside the cave, and when Seita remembers a naval review years before Setsuko was born. And where I think the symbolism in the fireflies I mentioned earlier comes in here where Setsuko is burying the dead fireflies in a grave – and says that her aunt told her their mother is dead. :o The fireflies could be seen as an analogy to actual human lives, in my opinion, and how life can be beautiful, but it’s very short in the grand scheme of things.

The food situation gets even worse, as the farmer they bought food and straw from earlier no longer has any food left to spare, and Okay – one thing I have to give the film credit for is the complexity of Seita’s conflict – on one hand, he is a young man with honour and dignity and tries everything to protect his sister. He tries his hardest to get food for them, and for those people who argue that he could have received a job to help support their life, it’s made clear numerous times in the film that nobody had anything to pay him with because of the war, and even if he could find work, there would be no-one to take care of Setsuko. It’s a pretty dire scenario to be in – and the fact that despite this, Seita tries his hardest to keep his sister alive is pretty heartbreaking. There’s also the fact that he DOESN’T take up the farmer’s advice to go back to his aunt’s – it makes the character seen all the more human that he makes a mistake like this – if a relative is such a douche, sometimes people WON’T take up advice to go back to them – I’ve heard about instances like this in real life – and knowing the aunt, she may probably just kick them out again anyway. :(

Soon, Seita and Setsuko become desperate for food, and have to resort to stealing to survive – they steal some tomatoes and potatoes from a farm, narrowly avoiding being spotted by a policeman. Unfortunately, I can imagine that many poor starving homeless people come across scenarios when they have to ask – ‘starve or steal’? I’m not sure what I would do, but I can imagine it would be hard for the main characters…. Especially considering how they start developing illnesses such as rashes and diarrhea…. :o Seita even ends up getting caught by a farmer that night when they try to steal his crops... Unfortunately, the farmer is more unreasonable than the aunt, and doesn’t seem to care that Setsuko needs the food to survive…. Luckily, the policeman the farmer takes Seita to is reasonable, and points out the farmer beat Seita within an inch of his life, and just as he’s about to sheath his sword as a threat to the farmer for majorly assaulting a minor, the farmer runs off. :XD: As he leaves the police station, I can’t help but cry at this scene where Seita is weeping due to the situation they find themselves in and hugs Setsuko. :cries: When Seita realises that Setsuko is most likely very sick (people who become exposed to bombs from planes have been reported to suffer from heat rash and diarrhoea, among other ailments), the situation becomes even graver, as he’s forced to steal food from the houses of people who have evacuated their homes to find food for his sister, and tries to steal blankets and clothes to sell to people. Speaking of this scene, I do actually find it weirdly beautiful when it shows the shot of the firebombs falling onto the red lit city, and then cutting to the blue hues of the mist coloured swamp. But sadly, Setsuko is becoming weaker as a result of her illness and because Seita is gone for most of the day, and when he tries to sell the clothes he’s stolen, the people refuse it…. :ohnoes:

And now comes one of the most depressing moments of the film.. Seita finds Setsuko weak and thirsty in a field, and I must say, seeing her eyes lose contrast and her cheeks lose their colour over time is pretty chilling, as is the state of her stomach when Seita takes her to a doctor. It looks extremely grim – and she’s weak from malnutrition. Even worse, the doctor can’t give her any medicine for this, and the only thing can help is nutrition that he can’t get her. :ohnoes: Resorting to melting shavings from an ice salesman for water, Seita vows to withdraw all their savings to save her… but it’s pretty depressing seeing her cry and ask for Seita not to leave her again – the way she says ‘Don’t go! Don’t go! Don’t go!’ brings tears to my eyes every time.. And… damn, this music – this almost sounds like that track in The Black Cauldron where Taran embraces Gurgi’s dead body… and it’s just as sad, maybe even more so… :cries:

Going to the bank, even worse news hits – Seita hears news that Japan has lost the war under unconditional surrender, and that the whole Japanese fleet has been sunk – including the ship Seita and Setsuko’s father was on. Damn… it just keeps getting worse and worse, doesn’t it? And the man who pushes an understandably shocked Seita way doesn’t help much either. Look, I understand that a boy grabbing your shirt may be quite odd, but don’t push the poor boy away, that would make it even worse! He’s lost his father for heaven’s sake! :o Speaking of which… Seita walks back to the cave…. And finds Setsuko eating something. Erm… but, they didn’t have any food earlier – so what’s she eating? Trust me, when I first watched this scene, I was pretty horrified to find out that she’s been trying to eat marbles and rocks as a substitution for fruit drops and rice balls. The scene was legitimately suspenseful for me, showing how hungry she had become, and when she started eating things off the ground, that creeped me out. :fear: Seita breaks off a piece of watermelon for her to eat, and leaves a piece for her in her hand, but as Seita leaves off to cook something for her, Setsuko’s arm goes limp and Seita points out ‘Setsuko never woke up.’ :cries: I like how in the next scene, Seita shows barely any emotion on his face – some people wouldn’t know how to react to such a tragedy, and the blank expression on his face says just as much as any amount of tears could…. :(

And what’s the last scene? Seita getting cremating supplies to cremate his little sister, watching other Japanese people return home…… :cries: Well, at least it didn’t end so bad for some people, but it certainly did for our two main characters. ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ ironically plays over a montage of Setsuko playing around the cave. And I don’t think I need to say how sad it is when it cuts directly to Seita cremating his little sister, and taking the fruit tin to put her ashes in. I love the music that plays here – properly conveying how tragic this experience must have been… The fireflies light up that night, almost as if in memory and as a eulogy of the lives that have been lost, and the next morning, Seita leaves to the final moments at the start of the film…. And with this tragic experience over, at least Seita and Setsuko are reunited, as the two spirits sit on a bench together, and as Setsuko falls asleep, Seita overlooks the now modern Japanese city before them – the modernised Kobe – watching the world has moved on without them, but no matter how small and insignificant their lives may have seemed in the grand scheme of things – like the fireflies – that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. :aww:

 

 

:iconyugiohponyavengers: Bring lots and lots of tissues.

:iconwildandcrazyart: Tissues! Make sure you have many boxes of Tissues!

:iconsrbarker: When I first watched this movie back when I was 17, I was a bawling MESS by the end of it.

:iconthearist2013: This is how you do an animated WWII film correctly, unlike Valiant

:icondisneycow82: Movies like Watership Down, Ringing Bell of Chirin, Grave of the Fireflies, and Barefoot Gen goes to show that animated films are NOT just for kids, meaning there is a reason behind every rating above G. Like Ringing Bell of Chirin, this film goes to show that nothing good ever comes out of war, which is something mankind refuses to learn from. It makes you wonder why the innocent ones have to be brought into it because of another person's arrogant actions. The ending will leave you sad and show that war tears apart families, a child's innocence and childhood, the same as what happened with Chirin when he lost his mother.

:iconrebelartist92: As depressing as Grave of the Fireflies was, it was a reminder that not all anime is sci-fiction action or family friendly fantasies.

:iconvindurza: if you do not cry your heart is shriveled dead thing

:iconailemadragonprincess: I saw Grave of the Fireflies once, and my gods it was depressing in many ways.

 

……..Wow… well, I think I need to get some more tissues for myself, as I’m still weeping a bit. :cries: Such is the power of this film, it’s one of those films that manages to get me teary eyed every single time that I watch it. And it goes to show that as well as portraying fantastical mythological worlds (like in Spirited Away, Laputa Castle in the Sky and Nausicaa), Studio Ghibli is also brilliant at portraying tough slice of life stories too. The two main characters are two of the best written child characters that I’ve seen, and needless to say, it’s extremely sad seeing these two go through these hardships in the aftermath of war. I also have to say, for a war film, I really admire how the film doesn’t hold on any huge amounts of gore or killing to get the emotions across – as I said, they do show corpses and cremations, but it’s brief and never drags on for longer than necessary. “Grave of the Fireflies” is an emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation, and needs to be shown to those people who think animation is ‘just for children’ and force it to the sidelines. Most animated films have been “cartoons” for children and families. Recent animated features such as The Lion King, Princess Mononoke and The Iron Giant have touched on more serious themes, and the Toy Story movies and classics like Bambi have had moments that moved some audience members to tears. But these films exist within safe confines; they inspire tears, but not grief. Grave of the Fireflies, The Fox and the Hound, Watership Down, Plague Dogs, Felidae, Mary and Max and Ringing Bell are such animated films that could actually inspire grief – that takes some seriously impressive writing, in my opinion.

It’s not a big grand sci-fi adventure - it tells a simple story of survival. The boy and his sister must find a place to stay, and food to eat. In wartime their relatives are not kind or generous, and after their aunt sells their mother’s kimonos for rice, she keeps a lot of the rice for herself. (Seriously though, if I could mention a complaint about the film, it's the aunt character. Seriously lady, show sympathy, won't you?! :rage: ) Eventually, Seita realizes it is time to leave. He has some money and can buy food--but soon there is no food to buy. His sister grows weaker. Their story is told not as melodrama, but simply, directly, in a realistic tradition. One of the film’s greatest elements in a way is its patience; shots are held so we can think about them, characters are glimpsed in private moments, atmosphere and nature are given time to establish themselves – just as is expected in the best Studio Ghibli films. And the silence is held in such ways to amplify the emotions felt for the characters and the experiences they go through.

And here’s the amazing thing – it’s actually based on a true story. It’s based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Nosaka Akiyuki - who was a boy at the time of the firebombs, whose sister did die of hunger and whose life has been shadowed by guilt. Live action would have been burdened by the weight of special effects, violence and action. Animation allowed Takahata to concentrate on the essence of the story, and the lack of visual realism in his animated characters allows our imagination more play; freed from the literal fact of real actors, we can more easily merge the characters with our own associations. I heard that there was a remake of the film in 2005 with live action actors – and the original director felt that the live action actors just couldn’t capture the proper emotion the animated children did. In fact, I’m joining the crowd in saying that this is most likely one of the most emotional films I’ve ever seen in my life.

Despite the fact that some people call this film ‘the best film I never want to see again’, I’m actually happy that I saw it again. True, it’s depressing as hell, but like Ringing Bell, Mary and Max and those other depressing animated films that I mentioned, I actually enjoy watching it because it proves that animation can be just as emotional, if not more, emotional than live action films. So, even if you’re easily saddened, I actually recommend watching this film if you haven’t already – and I’m ESPECIALLY saying that to those who say ‘animation is just for children’. And it’s yet another testament as to how impressive the writing on Studio Ghibli films can be. :clap:

Now if you excuse me, I need to wipe the tears off the laptop screen… :cries:

 

The next film will be JUST what the doctor ordered after the huge amount of depression that this film has no doubt put everyone in…and ironically, I’m not entirely sure about this, but I think this film came out in the exact same year as Grave of the Fireflies – just in time to help everyone cheer up. :aww: Speaking of mythological and real life scenarios – the next film will mix both together in a way I think works really well. :aww:

Prepare to make space in your neighbourhood, because we’ll be meeting a new neighbour next time – MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO. :love:

 

UPCOMING REVIEWS

177. My Neighbour Totoro

178. Kiki’s Delivery Service

Summer Reviews: Studio Ghibli/ Hiyao Miyazaki Summer

???. Dominator: The Movie

???. The True Story of Puss ‘n Boots

???. Bolt

???. The Fox and the Hound 2

???. Chirin No Suzu - Ringing Bell

???. Rock-A-Doodle

???. The Pebble and The Penguin

???. Daisy – A Hen Into The Wild

???. The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue

???. The Wolf Children

???. Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks

???. Where The Dead Go to Die :puke:

???. The Illusionist

???. Osmosis Jones

???. Ernest and Clementine

???. Song of the Sea

Duckyworth’s Edits: The Secret of Kells’ Abbot Cellach

Duckyworth’s Edits: All Dogs Go To Heaven Getting ‘Craps’ Past the Radar

Duckyworth’s Edits: How To Make One Dimensional Villains Work

Duckyworth’s Edits: The Townsfolk Of ParaNorman



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Duckyworth
Callum
Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art
United Kingdom
:iconreadcplz1::iconreadcplz2::iconreadcplz3: :iconreadplz:
:iconnorequests: :iconcollabsfriendsonly::icongiftsfriendsonly: Friendship stamp by JinZhan I won't whine  . . . by Zyden Wishful Thinking by whispwillAutism... not a dunce cap. by StrawberryRWeirdness Stamp by JadeCatKunoichiAutism Stamp by callykarishokka Proud to be British by Ravyre Atheist stamp by XXXYaoiLoveXXX I love Vultures by WishmasterAlchemist I love Bats by WishmasterAlchemist No, it's not by xPine Agnostic by capricordestin Cider Drinker Stamp by TheWhiteEnglishman Make Tea Not Drama -- Stamp by Hardrockangel Body positive stamp by garsedj No seriously, who are you? by DP-Stamps Fake Favorites Stamp by Two-By-Six Respecting Opinions? Ehh I Won't Respect Hate by wwwarea Traditional Animation Stamp by Wolfrott i collect PLUSHIES! stamp by RRRAI Chemistry Stamp by Tandenfee +Art Neglection Stamp+ by dantesgirl I'm Only Human Stamp by mylastel 'I MAKE TYPOS' stamp by Machu + + Stamp + + by eikosalia Own Up To Mistakes Stamp by SparkLum Stamp: Immaturity? by Britazzy Not Perfect Stamp by Neko-CosmicKitty No One's Perfect Stamp by Hunter-Arkaman Drawing is my energy - stamp by Angi-Shy Life is a Lesson _ Stamp by mylastel I Love Cooking Stamp by Mirz123 awkward moments by Mr-Stamp Shy Stamp by Neko-Musume Never Judge A... by GreedLin It's Popular, I don't like it... OVERRATED!!! by TheLeetCasualGamer Handwriting stamp by Floramy I love cute things Stamp by aries95a stamp - POPULARITYohnoez by eternalsaturn Stamp: Animation isn't just for kids. by Catthylove A Kid Inside Stamp by Drake09

Current Residence: UK
Favourite genre of music: Metal, In-game music, film soundtracks
Favourite style of art: Traditional Art
Operating System: Windows 7
MP3 player of choice: iPod
Personal Quote: 'Oh, please, make it stop! It's the squeaking of the hideous boots!!' - Mr Krabs

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:iconagberrysbrother:
agberrysbrother Featured By Owner 4 hours ago  Student Photographer
Have you heard of the Other World Kingdom Hearts memes?

Cause I would like to see your character do one of those.

antoinette721.deviantart.com/a…
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:iconsilvereagle91:
SilverEagle91 Featured By Owner 4 hours ago
Thanks for the favorite.
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:iconduckyworth:
Duckyworth Featured By Owner 2 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome. :)
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:icongogeta17:
gogeta17 Featured By Owner 20 hours ago  Hobbyist Artist
you remind me of mr. enter.
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:iconduckyworth:
Duckyworth Featured By Owner 2 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Is that a good thing?
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:iconthree9:
Three9 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  New Deviant Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the fav
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:iconneonmantisshrimp420:
NeonMantisShrimp420 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Have you ever seen a film called The Nut Job? The resemblance it has with Eight Crazy Nights is crazy! It has very forced humour, great animation, and an unlikable protagonist that commits crimes. Its real bad! 0_0

Seriously, Surly might as well be Davey Stone if he was a Squirrel...Oh, and its getting a sequel in 2016...
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:iconduckyworth:
Duckyworth Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm planning to review The Nut Job in the future - it looks TERRIBLE. ^^;
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:iconyugiohponyavengers:
YugiohPonyAvengers Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Student Writer
Good luck, man...It's one of the films that DEFINATLY doesn't deserve a sequel.
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:iconduckyworth:
Duckyworth Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
WHAT. It's getting a SEQUEL!? :iconspongebobwutplz:
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(1 Reply)
:iconnuclearzeon2:
Nuclearzeon2 Featured By Owner 6 days ago
Have you ever watched Wander Over Yonder? If not, I would recommend it.
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:iconduckyworth:
Duckyworth Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Like with Gravity Falls and Littlest Pet Shop, I've been meaning to get to that show. I should check it out in the future. :aww:
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:iconagberrysbrother:
agberrysbrother Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2015  Student Photographer
Hey :icon Duckyworth:

Thanks for reviewing that piece of trash FG episode "Screams of Silence".

I wonder if you want to watch Where the Dead Go to Die...i think it would top Eight Crazy Nights as the worst film you've ever reviewed, if not, it would definately top The Wild.
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:iconduckyworth:
Duckyworth Featured By Owner 2 hours ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome :)

If anything - I'd review it to say I can survive it and spare everyone else the pain. :fear:
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:iconglasslotuses:
GlassLotuses Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the fav :D
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:iconhoneybeegirl94:
HoneyBeeGirl94 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2015
honeybeegirl94.deviantart.com/…
What kind of MLP episodes would you like to see? 
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:iconmarioandsoniccompany:
Marioandsoniccompany Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2015  Student General Artist
You know, my mother loves Studio Ghibli movies. She has a collection of nearly all of the movies.
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:iconscythethedoublade:
ScytheTheDoublade Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqnbYUG6Bn8 Sunset Shimmer "My Past Is Not Today" if you haven't seen it already. This will make you love her even more. Tell me what you think! :aww:
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:iconduckyworth:
Duckyworth Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I say it recently, and I love it. :)
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:iconscythethedoublade:
ScytheTheDoublade Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
I love some of the songs from the movie, and this was one of my faves. ^w^ Also it's nice to talk to you again, it's been a while!
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:iconagberrysbrother:
agberrysbrother Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2015  Student Photographer
have you ever heard of Pinocchio 3000? bobsheaux reviewed it.
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:iconduckyworth:
Duckyworth Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've heard of the film, but I've never watched it.
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:iconequestriabrony:
Equestriabrony Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Have you ever thought of a chicken little animated atrocities notepage?
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:iconiheartcartoons13:
iheartcartoons13 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi Callum, I saw a stamp that says, Frozen is the worst movie I have ever seen. NO. There are WORSE movies than Frozen. *cough**cough* Eight Crazy Nighs*cough**cough* Dominator the Movie*cough*cough* 
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:icondoctormanny:
DoctorManny Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2015  Student General Artist
Frozen is NOT that bad. In fact, I think the only reason people seem to hate it is because of all the hype, and after seeing it myself, I can say it is definitely a very divisive movie, but it isn't terrible.
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