2 October 2001 | hellequin
A beautiful movie.
In my opinion, "Night on the Galactic Railroad" is an outstanding piece of animation.
Many reviewers will note, and accurately so, that this movie is both heavy and slow as melted gold. It's true: in our current world of sound bites and media clips, fast action and short attention, this movie stands alone. This is especially so when the movie is compared to other anime, a category under which fall some of the fastest and slickest movies in the world. If nothing else, "Night on the Galactic Railroad" gets points for sheer originality and ingenuity.
Gisaburo Sugii (the director) has taken Kenji Miyazawa's children's story and created for it a living atmosphere. While highly detailed backgrounds are nothing new for anime, "Night on the Galactic Railroad" combines its finely crafted images with a brilliant use of frame shots, pacing, and audio montage to create a surreal and ethereal viewing experience.
While often advertised as a children's movie, "Night on the Galactic Railroad" most certainly does not tell a very light story. With both religious and nihilistic imagery, Sugii presents us with a powerful treatise on death and life. However, even if you do not appreciate the story itself, the beauty in the dream-like artwork and animation cannot be denied.
If this is the kind of movie that you'd just as soon sleep through, then you're missing out on some amazing cinema. Admittedly, most people these days would probably rather numb their brains in front of the "Tomb Raider" movie, than sit through the likes of "Don't Look Now" or "Blow Up." But, who knows....
If you want to be pulled into a beautifully crafted and mesmerizing world, then watch "Night on the Galactic Railroad."