|DVD To aru hikuushi e no tsuioku
Genres: Animation | Action | Adventure
Director: Jun Shishido
Writers: Koroku Inumura, Satoko Okudera
Stars: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Daisuke Ono, Takeshi Tomizawa
Release Date: 1 October 2011 (Japan)
OK it's not a movie you will watch with guy friends, it's very soothing without the ace pilot kick ass package.
it's a 2 hour escape into a childhood dream, there's the princess, and the sky for you.
if you grab a pina colada or ice tea open the window with cool breeze in the afternoon you'll be in the mood for this little gem
i'm totally into top gun etc but this movie while being the exact opposite, do bring me back in time where dreams are beautiful and nothing else matters, you'll enjoy the graphics and a little bit of pure innocent romance
if you must be a tough guy 100% of the time don't watch it, if you do have a soft romantic side and appreciate a little escape this is for you
Wow. I just finished up this film as we speak. What a breath of fresh air. All the comparisons to Studio Ghibli and Hiyao Miyazaki are spot-on. I don't know anything about the people who created The Princess and the Pilot, but bravo!
On the surface this is the story of a pilot assigned with escorting a princess across a vast and hostile ocean. You will not find thousands of different set pieces, there are no shocking or traumatic plot schemes. But what this film does it does oh-so-beautifully. The set serves the major plot perfectly (oh and the sets are gorgeous.
It's about the responsibilities and trappings of adulthood and nobility, of perhaps youthful and perhaps sincere yearning. It's also a very entertaining adventure ride. Watching this movie is like taking a rafting trip down a river in spring.
It's also a subdued romance. That is the backbone of this beautiful tale. It's one of survival, destiny and free will, of responsibility, pragmatism and dare I say love.
The animation is smooth and appealing and very reminiscent of Studio Ghibli. The gunships and environments are amazingly well-done. Admittedly I am a sucker for any films shot mostly in nature, so I may be biased in that regard because literally 75% of the movie is wonderful cloud, ocean and sky shots. You'll see waterfalls, animals, tropical islands, all kinds of cool stuff and all incredibly detailed in just the right ways.
The attention to detail is magnificent. The script is intelligent, absorbing and thought provoking. You will feel for and take a liking to both of the main characters. At first I was upset there was no English dub because I actually am not the biggest fan of subtitles, but I love this movie so much the subtitles don't bother me a bit! And the script is just so good that after a few minutes I didn't even notice it anymore.
You might watch this and find it uneventful, or feel like there was not a high enough peak for your tastes, you very well might be disappointed with the ending. But to me this movie is perfection. Every moment is in a way a celebration of adulthood – of self-control and awareness and that child-like dreaming that we never lose. To me the ending is perfect as well. The only point I would knock off are for the first 20 minutes of getting the plot setup, I wish the first 20 minutes was done slightly differently but its just a minor nitpick from an armchair quarterback.
Stellar piece of work.
This film is about a long journey that a pilot and a princess take during a fictional war, in some fictional aircraft.
Being a screenplay by Satoko Okudera of "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" and "Summer Wars" fame, I expected this one to be an equal success. Sadly it is not the case here.
From a normal movie viewer's standpoint, To Aru Hikushi e no Tsuioku is unsubstantial and clichéd at best. The plot is quite flat without any twist: you can pretty much imagine what is going to happen in such a story setting after the first 15 minutes of viewing, and the movie will go on to prove your forecast. The characters could've used much more development than what is shown on screen: the princess's behavior and actions feels awkward and forced. A lot of time is wasted on unnecessary dialogues and unimportant incidents and characters while not enough is given to the main characters and their journey, to the point that it feels draggy from time to time while unsatisfactory in the end.
The music and theme song is forgettable, especially compared with classics like the Macross series. Image wise, while it serves some good background scenery of the sky, the clouds and the sea, and some of the air battle scenes are amazing, I couldn't help but feel that occasionally they cheapped out on 3D FX: a lot of the objects and scenes are purely hand drawn with dubious perspective and accuracy, resulting in a half-finished feeling. To be honest the whole movie feels more like an episode of a TV series than a feature film.
And then another big issue for me is the aircraft design and tactics they employ in the battle scenes. Being an aviation/war themed film I expect something of "Porco Rosso" or "Macross Zero" level of research and depiction of the aircraft and air combat, only to be deeply disappointed in this regard. Things are against basic physic principles when it comes to aircraft design (those floats are just way too small on the "Santa Cruz") and air maneuvers (they act like UFOs instead of real airframes), and the use of the planes are unimaginative to say the least(I have some good ideas for those retractable floats). I'm not going into detail as to spoil it, but you will know what I'm talking about if you are also an aviation geek like me. They could've hired some real consultants if they don't possess Hayao Miyazaki's level of knowledge of aviation.
I kept feeling that a lot could've been done in this film but none is achieved in reality. This movie is about love and aviation, both of them extremely romantic topics, but it delivers neither. What a waste.
I give it 5 stars for their effort and some of the beautiful and exciting scenes.