February 2, 2005 -- “Tokyo Godfathers” is an above average Japanese anime about three homeless people who find an abandoned baby on Christmas eve and spend the rest of the evening in a long search trying to find the baby's parents. Miracles, redemptions and reconciliations happen in the snow-covered Tokyo night. The story is loosely based on the 1948 John Ford western film, “Three Godfathers.”
Interesting animation results in a Tokyo landscape that looks photographically real. Layering of images allows for camera-like pans through the different image elements. Good looking animation, well-developed characters and a heart-warming story make for an unusual Christmas story. The action slows too much at times, but it is compelling.
Hana, Gin, and Miyuki are the homeless people who find the baby. They make up a kind of non-traditional family as they drift along the edges of society. Gin once had a wife and daughter but spiraled into drinking and destitution. Hana is a flamboyant transvestite with a show business past who dreams of having a baby. Miyuki is a young girl who ran away from home after a fight with her father and can't bring herself to reconcile with her parents.
Some parts of the film are hard to follow due to multiple languages used in the film. Parts of the dialogue are in Spanish, but are not translated in the subtitles. Some parts of the story are explained through words which are also not translated. You would need to read and speak Japanese and also understand Spanish to catch all the references in this film. Directed by acclaimed anime director Satoshi Kon (“Millennium Actress”). This film rates a C+.
Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.