Omoide no Marnie

Title:Omoide no Marnie
When Marnie Was There
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Studio Ghibli
R1 License - GKIDS
A young girl is sent to the country for health reasons, where she meets an unlikely friend in the form of Marnie, a young girl with flowing blonde hair. As the friendship unravels it is possible that Marnie has closer ties to the protagonist than we might expect.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

103-minute film released on July 19, 2014.
Animated by Studio Ghibli.
Licensed by GKids.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 9 8 7 9 Ggultra2764 [series:3206#1552]
Marking my 1400th review on Mikomi is potentially the last regular film that Studio Ghibli released in the form of When Marnie Was There. Focused on a 12-year old girl named Anna living with foster parents since the deaths of her parents and grandmother, she spends the summer by the countryside where she becomes fascinated with a run-down mansion that she finds appears like new at night and comes to befriend the spirit of a young girl her age named Marnie. As Anna gets to know more about Marnie, she comes to realize the possibility that her new friend could have more close ties to her than she thought.

When Marnie Was There is a coming-of-age drama that focuses on the issues affecting Anna thanks to her upbringing. Many factors lead her to be her present angry and introverted self with the loss of her biological family members, suspicion that her foster family may not care for her and having physical features different from others with her blue-colored eyes. Feeling like an outcast and unwanted by other are things that many people could relate with for Anna's character as they experienced similar emotions growing up due to various factors. In addition, the movie is very effective at conveying subtle nuances to show the issues affecting Anna and other characters, such as Anna guarding her sketchbook and withdrawing from those her age who attempt to connect with her.

The relationship that Anna establishes with Marnie serves as the major focus of the movie as it not only impacts Anna's character development, but also offers some more fleshing out of her character. The new friendship brings positive growth to Anna as she becomes more outgoing, happy and open to others. In addition, the movie fleshes out Marnie's character as well where we see that she shares a similar traumatic past as Anna with feeling neglected by her family and the movie places hints throughout its run eluding to the possibility that the two friends may have more of a connection than they would expect. When all is revealed about the ties Marnie and Anna have with one another, the events make sense if you pick up on the subtle hints dropped throughout the film and take notice of the growth of Anna's character throughout the film.

As to be expected from Ghibli, this is a visually impressive film with gorgeous scenic shots, fluid animation and characters sporting the typical Ghibli style. The only issue that comes out of the visuals are some glaring implementations of CG animation with vehicle renderings that are noticeable in a few camera shots.

Overall, When Marnie Was There is a worthwhile coming-of-age drama that explores Anna's inner problems and how her friendship with Marnie leads her to change for the better from the experience. If this is indeed the final Ghibli film ever made, it is a fitting swan song for the studio's legacy.

Last updated Sunday, May 15 2016. Created Sunday, May 15 2016.

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