As a father of a 4-year-old who might or might not have a younger sibling one day, I felt I have to see “Mirai”. And I was so right, but not exactly why I suspected.
First of all, I considered taking by aforementioned daughter with me. It’s a contemporary movie about a typical middle-class family (2 parents, 2 kids and a dog), it’s about a very common situation (a new baby in da house, the older kid’s coping with it) and a lot of magic, cuteness and touching moments, plus plenty of laughter. I noticed the audience in cinema had two types of laughter during the movie: there was a “haha, that’s funny” light-hearted laughter of the younger people, and heavier “haha, TOO TRUE” one from the older, including me.
But “Mirai” is not really suitable for a 4yo – in the end it may be quite scary and traumatizing. So, maybe not. Or at least, not yet. It is, however, a fricken mandatory watching for parents. Parents of two, parents of one, even future parents or people considering to become parents.
It’s not because Kun and Mirai’s mum and dad were bad parents. It’s not an animated “Florida Project”, far from it. It’s because they are just so absolutely… normal. Absolutely typical parents. Everyone will see themselves in them, everyone will see their own children in Kun and Mirai. And if you also have a dog, then bonus points to the Mandatory Watching score. Throughout the movie I was constantly thinking about my family and my parenting, having thoughts like “whoa, been there” or “oops, this could’ve been avoided” or “oh dear, what would I do in this situation?”.
Kun’s dealing with the new situation is done with the help of magical creatures from his past, present and future – he meets his dog in an antropomorphic form, his mom as a kid, his sister as a teenager, his great-granddad… And it’s all so beautifully animated that had there not been a “Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse”, this would be a really serious contender for the Animated Feature Oscar.
To sum up, not much “animated Florida Project”, more a “less hardcore A Monster Calls“. An extremely relatable story for all parents.