Out of all the television shows, movies, games, etc that are created in Japan and are shared world-wide, this was a film that I was a bit heartbroken to learn that would never see an international release. Due to it's poor reception in Japan, I guess it never found interest with licensors to at least attempt to release it to the West.
With that said, I found this film to be quite adorable. Annie and Jack are some of my favorite kid duos that I have seen in anime. This adaptation of the children book series of the same name seemed to give a lot of respect to it's source material while still retaining an independent identity of its own.
For those who have seen The Pagemaster, this film has a very similar flow as the kids adventure through the worlds found in books... however, unlike The Pagemaster, the books were relevant to their adventure, the kids learned about their surroundings, and even managed to grow with each mini adventure.
It is clear that this film did not have a massive budget, CG cutscenes, or an elaborate soundtrack. However, what it lacked, it made up for in creating a compelling enough story that is innocent enough that I could sit a child in front of it without worrying about content. (There is one controversial scene, but even that isn't as bad as it seems knowing the outcome of that scene.)
I really, really wish that an English Language Dub would become available for this film, but seeing how many years have gone by... it is very doubtful that this film will ever see the light of a Western release.