A Letter to Momo

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A Letter to Momo
A Letter To Momo movie poster.jpg
Film poster
Japanese ももへの手紙
Hepburn Momo e no Tegami
Directed by Hiroyuki Okiura
Produced by Arimasa Okada
Keiko Matsushita
Mariko Noguchi
Motoki Mukaichi
Written by Hiroyuki Okiura
Music by Mina Kubota
Cinematography Koji Tanaka
Edited by Junichi Uematsu
Production
company
Distributed by Kadokawa Pictures
Release dates
  • September 2011 (2011-09) (TIFF)
  • April 21, 2012 (2012-04-21) (Japan)
Running time 120 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Box office $6,407,059[1]

A Letter to Momo (Japanese: ももへの手紙 Hepburn: Momo e no Tegami?) is a 2011 Japanese anime drama film written and directed by Hiroyuki Okiura. It is produced by the animation studio Production I.G. This film follows the 11-year-old Momo, who has a hard time coping with the sudden changes after her father's death.

Plot[edit]

Momo Miyaura is a shy and imaginative 11-year-old girl who is suffering because of her father's recent death and the resultant extreme changes in her life. From the big city of Tokyo, Momo's family moves to her mother's childhood home, a remote island named Shio. Momo does not adapt well to her new surroundings. Her father left her an unfinished letter containing only two words, "Dear Momo". As she tries to make sense of these two words and guess what her father was trying to tell her, some strange incidents occur on the island, which is otherwise tranquil. People's orchards are ransacked by an unknown person, and some of their prized belongings start to go missing. Momo also starts to hear strange sounds coming from the attic in her house.

Unable to convince her mother of the strange sounds, Momo herself embarks on an adventure to discover the source of these disturbances. During her investigations, Momo meets up with Kawa, Mame and leader Iwa, a group of imps (Yokai), each of which have different personalities. In addition, Momo discovers that the mysterious two-word letter from her father is connected to all the strange occurrences, and to her arrival at Shio.

Voice cast[edit]

Original Japanese[edit]

English Dub[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Distributor Kadokawa Pictures announced this film in its lineup of 2011 and 2012 films on 15 February 2011.[3] More details of the film were announced on 11 July 2011.[4] It was announced that the director Hiroyuki Okiura will be in charge of this film. His previous work as a director includes the 2000 film Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade.[4] The film A Letter to Momo is Hiroyuki's first film in 11 years after Jin-Roh. He had spent 7 years coming up with the script, directing the film and creating the storyboard for this film.[4]

Casting[edit]

The main voice cast members of A Letter to Momo was first announced on 17 November 2011.[2] It was announced that actress Karen Miyama will voice the 11 year old lead character Momo, while singer Yuka is voicing Momo's mother.[2] In addition, actor Toshiyuki Nishida will be voicing a character in this film.[2]

Theme song[edit]

In an announcement made on 11 July 2011, it was revealed that the theme song for the film A Letter to Momo is the song Uruwashimahoroba ~ Utsukushiki Basho ~ (ウルワシマホロバ~美しき場所~?) by Japanese singer Yuko Hara.[5] This song is an acoustic piece, and it creates an image of the rich natural scenery of the Seto Inland Sea.[6] The "美しき場所" in the song title is the old way of describing "a beautiful place to live".[6] Hara wrote the song's lyrics and composed the music, with Junichi Soga as the editor of the song.[6]

Yuko Hara, who is the keyboardist for the Japanese band Southern All Stars, reportedly spent 5 years working on this piece of music.[4] She said that "I loved animation from a very young age, so being able to contribute the theme song for this film makes me happy and honored.".[6]

Release[edit]

Film festivals[edit]

A Letter to Momo made its international debut at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival that took place from 8 to 18 September 2011.[7][8] It was screened at the festival under its "Kids" programming.[8] Later, it was announced that the film will be shown at the 44th Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival that ran from 6th to 16 October 2011 and at the 16th Busan International Film Festival, which took place on 6th to 14 October.[7] It will be shown in Busan as part of the festival's "Wide Angle" program.[7]

Additionally, A Letter to Momo was screened at the 27th Warsaw International Film Festival.[9] This is the first Japanese anime film to be showcased at the Warsaw International Film Festival and it competed at the festival under its International Competition section.[9] Also, it was announced that this film will be competing for the Halekulani Golden Orchid Award at the 31st Hawaii International Film Festival, which took place from 6 October to 16 October 2011.[9]

A Letter to Momo made its US continental premiere at the New York International Children's Film Festival that took place March 2 to 25, 2012.[10]

It was featured in the Boston International Children's Film festival, which ran from August 18 to September 1, 2013 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.[11]

GKIDS distributor New Video/Cinedigm released A Letter to Momo on bilingual DVD and Blu-ray in the U.S. on October 21, 2014.

Box office[edit]

A Letter to Momo was released in Japanese cinemas on 21 April 2012.[12] According to staff members of the film, it will debut in over 300 theater screens on its opening weekend.[13]

Reception[edit]

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 77% of critics gave the film a positive review, with the site consensus stating: "Sweet, sad, and visually striking, A Letter to Momo is a hand-drawn experience for animation fans to savor."[14]

Accolades[edit]

Year Name of Competition Category Result Recipient
2011 27th Warsaw International Film Festival International Competition Nominated A Letter to Momo[9]
31st Hawaii International Film Festival Halekulani Golden Orchid Award Nominated A Letter to Momo[9]
2012 14th Future Film Festival - Italy Future Film Platinum Grand Prize Won A Letter to Momo[15]

Merchandise[edit]

Manga[edit]

A Letter to Momo will be adapted into a film manga and will be serialized in the Monthly Asuka magazine, published by Kadokawa Shoten.[16] This manga is written by Akiko Kitami, and the first chapter of the manga will be published in the November 2011 issue of the magazine.[16] Kitami's previous works have also previously been serialized in the Monthly Asuka.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/intl/?page=&id=_fMOMOENOTEGAMIAL01
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Hawaii, Warsaw Int'l Film Fests to Show A Letter to Momo" (in Japanese). eiga.com. 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2011-11-18. 
  3. ^ ""新生"角川映画ラインナップは15作品 「貞子3D」製作も発表" (in Japanese). eiga.com. 2011-02-15. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  4. ^ a b c d "2012年GW公開「ももへの手紙」 主題歌に原由子さんが決定" (in Japanese). Anime Anime Japan. 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  5. ^ 原由子、アニメ「ももへの手紙」で5年ぶり映画主題歌 (in Japanese). eiga.com. 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  6. ^ a b c d 原由子、大作アニメ映画に美しい主題歌書き下ろし (in Japanese). Music Natalie. 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  7. ^ a b c トロントで好評「ももへの手紙」 シッチェス、釜山にも正式出品 (in Japanese). Anime Anime Japan. 2011-09-12. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  8. ^ a b "2011 Toronto International Film Festival Programming". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  9. ^ a b c d e 「ももへの手紙」日本アニメ史上初のワルシャワ国際映画祭進出 (in Japanese). eiga.com. 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  10. ^ Graeber, Laurel. "Kids’ Film Festival: Fear, Astonishment and the Beatles. New York International Children’s Film Festival 2012". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  11. ^ http://www.mfa.org/programs/series/boston-international-children%E2%80%99s-film-festival
  12. ^ "ももへの手紙 on eiga.com" (in Japanese). eiga.com. Retrieved 2011-11-17. 
  13. ^ 海外でも絶賛の『ももへの手紙』は全国300館規模の公開に!劇場オリジナルアニメーションとしては異例の公開館数! (in Japanese). Cinema Today. 2011-09-14. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  14. ^ Rotten Tomatoes. [http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/a_letter_to_momo/?search=A%20Letter%20to%20Momo A Letter to Momo]. Retrieved on 23 November 2014.
  15. ^ "Future Film Festival 2012: The Winners!". Future Film Festival. 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  16. ^ a b c "アニメ「ももへの手紙」先行コミカライズがASUKAで開始" (in Japanese). Comic Natalie. 2011-09-24. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 

External links[edit]