Review of “House-hunting” (2006)

Moving picture, 12 minutes

Miyazaki Hayao (writer-director).

Seen in 2023.

Seen at Ghibli Park’s Cinema Orion.

A girl who looks like Pippi Longstocking goes looking for a new place to live. She befriends a dark force, but ultimately fails.

A charming supernatural pastoral and a successful experimental short, like the work that Norman McLaren used to do for the Canadian NFB.

If you don’t speak or read Japanese but see this film in the same way I did, you may be interested to know that the various road signs describe only generic features (“the old road”, “the river”, “the plain” etc.). The more animated text on screen is for onomatopoeia in the Japanese language, as used in Japanese comics. The actors who do the experimental oral foley work are not reading these written sound effects out loud; they’re trying to sound more realistic. The lines of spoken dialogue vary in intelligibility. The arigatou is clear, but most of what is said isn’t clear Japanese, or any language.

References here: 2023-07-01, The Wind Rises (2013).

moving picture animation Japanese production fiction