Omohide Poro Poro (1991, JAP) C-118m. *** D: Isao Takahata. Starring (the voices of) Miki Imai, Toshirô Yanagiba, Youko Honna, Yuuki Masuda, Mayumi Iizuka, Masahiro Ito. Beautifully animated Ghibli feature made right after their success with TONARI NO TOTORO (1988) and MAJO NO TAKKYUBIN (1989). A young woman, pushing 30 and still single, is preparing for a holiday in the countryside when childhood memories seem to overwhelm her. Flashbacks to her 10-year-old self show us what her life was like in the 1960s. She remembers her often painful schooldays, her countryside holidays, her family troubles, and relates all that to her present-day life. Meticulously made film is an eloquent examination of childhood sensibility and its influence on our adult selves. Not always on target, a bit long, but completely wins you over during brilliant closing credits, through which you must stay tuned! A bit too mature for small children, who will not understand the references to puberty and adult problems. Written by the director. Hayao Miyazaki was executive producer. English titles: ONLY YESTERDAY, MEMORIES OF TEARDROPS, MEMORIES OF YESTERDAY.

© Ron Altman