20 January 2020 | Jamejarrs
Competent, but Sometimes Mediocre
The characters are probably the most consistent part of the movie. They seem well developed and I started to care for them a bit by the end. The other writing really starts to fall apart, haphazardly throwing items and historical events at you in the third act then acting like you've been given enough context to care about them.
Ni no Kuni works very hard to recreate the Studio Ghibli aesthetic - bringing on some Ghibli staff and composer Joe Hisaishi - but the animation budget here is clearly not enough to hold the illusion for the movie's runtime. As it goes on, it starts to feel more like a mid-budget TV anime with flat shots and static animation.
Overall, it's an okay movie with not enough time or money to flesh out all of its ideas. There are worse ways to spend two hours.