Four-year-old Kun (the voice of Moka Kamishiraishi) has a new baby sister, and he is not at all happy about it: Mirai has distracted his parents so that they barely seem to pay any attention to him anymore! This tenderly animated Japanese film is lovely with its fantasy: Kun gets magical visits from teenaged Mirai (her name means “future”!) and other family members, past and present, even a human embodiment of his dog—unhappy to have been replaced in the affections of Kun’s parents by Kun’s own arrival—all of whom teach small, gentle lessons about what it means to be a big brother, and what it means to be a part of a family with a long history. There’s sweet compassion, too, in writer-director Mamoru Hosoda’s portrait of a household gone topsy-turvy with a tantrum-prone toddler and demanding newborn taking center stage. Kun is drawn with particular realism, no pun intended, and charmingly so: His little-boy obsession with trains is pointedly deployed. Sadly, it’s all a bit too gentle and too mundane to compel much beyond the mildest of interest.
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Producer: Yuichiro Saito
Cast: Haru Kuroki, Moka Kamishiraishi, Gen Hoshino, Koji Yakusho, Kumiko Aso, Mitsuo Yoshihara and Yoshiko Miyazaki