Tur­tle Power

SFX - - Reviews - Rhian Drinkwa­ter

re­leased OUT NOW! 2015 | PG | Blu-ray/dvd Di­rec­tor sion sono Cast Hiromi Hasegawa, Ku­miko asô, Toshiyuki Nishida, Kiy­ohiko shibukawa

Pixar’s Toy Story films were one take on the con­cept of sen­tient toys with a life of their own – and old, thrown-away toys mourn­ing their lost own­ers and the love they once knew. This Ja­panese film is an­other; it couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent.

Ry­oichi is a pa­thetic char­ac­ter, bul­lied at work and lit­er­ally bowed down with the weight of his own self-loathing. He finds hap­pi­ness in a pet tur­tle, Pikadon, to whom he whis­pers his dreams of rock star­dom, but is left dis­traught when his tor­men­tors at work force him to flush the tur­tle away. Pikadon is washed to an un­der­ground lost and found, full of aban­doned toys and pets that have been given speech by the mys­te­ri­ous – and al­co­holic – Pa. But in­stead of speech, Pa gives Pikadon the power to grant wishes, and Ry­oichi’s life starts to get a whole lot bet­ter…

Sur­pris­ingly dark in places, this sur­real ad­ven­ture of­ten feels like sev­eral film gen­res in one, from the painful of­fice re­la­tion­ships to the fan­tas­ti­cal toy workshop to the in­evitable Kaiju city de­struc­tion. Packed full of imag­i­na­tion and style, it never quite hits the spot, but has some good fun try­ing.

Ex­tras A spe­cial ef­fects fea­turette (24 min­utes) and the trailer.

“Pikadon” refers to the nu­clear bomb det­o­na­tions on Ja­pan – Pika mean­ing bril­liant light, and don mean­ing boom.

Sushi res­tau­rants: can be cruel.

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