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Boy and the Beast, The

In this fantastic animated adventure from writer/director Mamoru Hosoda, a young boy discovers a secret world of beastly warriors in the back alleys of contemporary Tokyo.

With Hayao Miyazaki settling into retirement, many consider Hosoda as the heir apparent to the anime throne. Indeed, his recent films — The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, and Wolf Children — can easily be placed alongside the best of Studio Ghibli or Pixar. With an admitted preference for hand-drawn animation, Hosoda displays a storytelling ease and a knack for staging action that puts Hollywood to shame. In his latest film, he reimagines Kipling’s The Jungle Book, only his version has a lot more martial arts and awesome sword fights. Alone and on the run, nine-year-old orphan Kyuta stumbles across a realm of anthropomorphic beast people just a few magical degrees removed from Tokyo’s vibrant Shibuya district. There, he becomes apprentice to Kumatetsu, a gruff bearlike warrior. Like all great cinematic couplings, they get off to a rocky start—Kumatetsu is kind of a grump—but eventually the two develop an affectionate and heartfelt relationship that, eventually, must withstand challenges from both worlds. With plenty of laughs and excitement, The Boy and the Beast will thrill genre fans of all ages.

DIRECTOR: Mamoru Hosoda
CAST: Koji Yakusho, Aoi Miyazaki, Shota Sometani, Suzu Hirose, Yo Oizumi, Lily Franky
LANGUAGE: Japanese
YEAR: 2015
LENGTH: 119 min

IN COMPETITION: Best Narrative Feature
Saturday, October 24

7:30pm EDT

Sunday, November 1

12:15pm EST