The film Kanini and Kanino directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi was beautifully executed within its animated production as well its fairytale aesthetic. Such would include: the animation clarity of the water, the uniqueness and detailing of each sea creature, and the use of color contrasts within each scene. I am not surprised with Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s work especially with his work “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” with his animated style, similar to studio ghibli’s, and color contrast. I was very inspired how Yonebayashi has turned the table from his first film of “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” to a story about the water people living in a river and the epic journey of two brother to find their Father. By comparing these two works we can see that Hiromasa is very much into the magical world of witches, fairies, and water people that they could possibly be within the same world. In addition, the details within the animation is what gives each of his characters their own uniqueness and personality. Kanino is a character who is brave by trying to have a tough outer shell after the incident of his Father. While Kanini’s, character is very pure and gentle towards others especially when he is with his family. Based on the characters, and how it was aesthetically pleasing to the eye, it is another appreciation of Yonebayashi’s work.
However, the plot of the film seemed as though there was a missing element that didn’t quite fit together. Despite the fact that the only dialogue they said were their names like: Kanino, Kanini’s, and Papi. Especially within a scene, when Kanini woken up from his dream and heads out to climb on the tree.
Within that moment I asked myself, “Why was he climbing the tree trunk? Was it because he missed his mother? Was he exploring?” It is a question that needed to be answered. By having this in mind, it didn’t make sense to me as well to my other friends as well. Sadly, I was disappointed within that particular scene, because I expecting a lot from this short film due to the trailer I watched before seeing it in theaters. As well the plot of the film is cliché, but since it is an animated film typically for children it makes it understandable for children.
Overall, this film was aesthetically pleasing regarding its creativity of where the story takes place, who the main characters are, and its relativity to all ages. However, the film lacks the ability to the reason why Kanini was exploring, in which the film needed to give more information as to why his actions were necessary. I suggest this film to others, to those who have kids as well to those who are interested in Yonebayashi’s animated films, but for those who are interested in movies that have depth I suggest to skip this short film.