(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Tokyo Godfathers

Where You Can Stream It: Crackle

The Pitch: Three homeless people discover an abandoned baby in a garbage dump on Christmas Eve, and decide to do anything in their power to find it a home.

Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: I’m an avowed fan of Satoshi Kon, whose name I believe should be celebrated in equal standing as the globally acclaimed Hayao Miyazaki. His often brutal meditations on identity and memory are some of the most astounding animated films — nay, films — that I’ve ever seen. Tokyo Godfathers, released in 2003 to near-universal acclaim, is his kindest film, even if on the surface it is his ugliest, animation-wise. It’s intentionally ugly though: exploring the seedy underworld of Tokyo’s homeless on Christmas Eve, in a Frank Capra-esque dramedy that is equal turns heartwarming and harrowing — and oddly sentimental for its director — that is all about the miracle of Christmas.

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tokyo godfathers trailer

In his short-lived career, Satoshi Kon released nothing but bonafide anime classics and Tokyo Godfathers is no exception. Often touted as the most accessible of the Perfect Blue and Paprika director’s filmography, Tokyo Godfathers is a warm, Frank Capra-esque comedy that has flown under the radar in the Western hemisphere since its release in 2003. But 17 years later, Tokyo Godfathers is finally getting released in U.S. theaters with an official English-language dub. Watch the English dub trailer for Tokyo Godfathers below.

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tokyo godfathers returning to theaters

While it’s a bit late to be a Christmas present, GKIDS is bringing back Satoshi Kon‘s anime classic (and all-time great Christmas movie) Tokyo Godfathers to theaters for a limited time. The Tokyo Godfathers theatrical re-release comes as the venerated anime director is soon to be rewarded a posthumous Winsor McCay Award at the upcoming 2020 Annie Awards for lifetime achievement in animation. This year also marks the 10-year anniversary of the sad passing of an animation titan.

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The 5 Merriest Animated Christmas Movies

best animated christmas movies

(Welcome to Let’s Get Animated!, a column that spotlights the best of film animation. In this edition: the best animated Christmas movies.)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the time when we rank the holiday movies that were staples of our childhoods as if some sort of numerical value can be applied to joy. Well, I’m no Grinch, so I’m not ranking them. But I am picking out the best animated Christmas movies because this is my column and I can do what I want. And what I want in this case is to spread Christmas joy for all to hear and perhaps give the spotlight to a few animated holiday movies that may have flown under your radar.

So, without further ado, here are the five best animated Christmas movies.

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10 Gateway Anime Movies For Studio Ghibli Fans

gateway anime movies

(Welcome to Let’s Get Animated!, a column that spotlights the best of film animation. In this edition: the best anime movies to watch if you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli movies.)

It felt like a big, gaping hole was left in the animation industry when Studio Ghibli temporarily shuttered its doors in 2014. The game-changing studio’s co-founder and the greatest animation director of this generation, Hayao Miyazaki, had just retired (again). And with that, Disney was back to dominating the animation market, with quality alternatives few and far between.

For years, Studio Ghibli was an animation titan that not only offered a refreshing foil to Hollywood’s frenetic, action-packed animated movies, but was a genre unto itself. Fans of the works of Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, Hiroyuki Morita, Gor? Miyazaki, and Hiromasa Yonebayashi didn’t have to say they liked anime — they liked Ghibli. Which is a shame, because Japan’s anime industry has so much more to offer.

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Satoshi Kon, the Japanese director of animated films such as Tokyo Godfathers, Millennium Actress and the Inception-influencing Paprika, has died at the young age of 47. The director reportedly lost a battle with cancer. Read More »