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My Neighbours The Yamadas

My Neighbours The Yamadas“Cute and compelling, My Neighbours
  The Yamadas
is a wacky, family
cartoon animé from Studio Ghibli that
  takes a quirky, fun look at life through the
  eyes of a Japanese extended family...

FAMILY LIFE WITH ITS UPS AND DOWNS is the theme for the Studio Ghibli treasure My Neighbours The Yamadas (original Japanese title Hôhokekyo tonari no Yamada-kun), with the trials and successes that challenge Takashi Yamada (voice of James Belushi) and his wife Matsuko (voice of Molly Shannon).

Teenaged son Noboru (voice of Daryl Sabara) wishes he had cooler parents and has just started becoming aware of girls and Little Nonoko (voice of Liliana Mumy) demands to be noticed with a voice that belies her size. It is enough that parents can be difficult, but the Yamadas also have a sharp-tongued grandmother to contend with who can sometimes be cutting but can also surprise everyone with words of wisdom. The family is completed by a dog — and even he has issues!

Stories include losing little Nonoko in a shopping centre and finding she isn't there when they go back for her; dealing with noisy, litter-dropping bikers; suffering memory loss (due to an excess of ginger!) and the problems that arise when asked to make a wedding speech.

Along with life's little victories and setbacks are poetic lines such as "Beauty is fleeting; Life is long" and well-observed thoughts including "Never, ever talk to strangers"; "It's people you know who can be the most dangerous", or the very positive mantra "It will work out for you and you'll be all right".

Most mothers will identify with the moment Matsuko discovers the 'black hole' into which socks disappear. Touching on irritations and kindnesses within a family unit, My Neighbours The Yamadas is beautifully creative, heart-warming and delightful.

Navigating their way through the minefields of marriage, work and family life in a series of short sketches, the Yamadas will win hearts and strike a few chords in this touching animation from Isao Takahata (Grave Of The Fireflies) and Studio Ghibli.

My Neighbours The Yamadas
also features the voice talents of Trenton Rogers as Toshio; Tress MacNeille as Shige; and David Ogden Stiers as The Narrator.

Writers are Hisaichi Ishi (Comic), Isao Takahata, Leo Chu (English Language Version) and Eric Garcia (English Language Version); Original Music by Akiko Yano; Producers are Ned Lott/Takashi Shoji & Seii Chirô Ojiie; Directed by Isao Takahata.

Featuring the voice talents of comedic stars Jim Belushi and Molly Shannon, My Neighbours The Yamadas is the next film from Studio Ghibli's classic catalogue to arrive on Blu-ray and is available on Double Play on 9 May 2011. Certificate: PG | Total Running Time: 104 mins | English and Japanese with English subtitles | Catalogue NO: OPTBD0322 | RRP: £24.99.

Extras — Storyboards (PiP) | NTV Special Program: Super TV 15 months exclusive coverage: Secrets of My Neighbours the Yamadas (45 mins) [new] | Behind the Microphone (68 minutes) [new] | TV spots | Original Japanese Theatrical Trailers.

"My Neighbours The Yamadas is beautifully creative, heart-warming and delightful"
Maggie Woods, MotorBar