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NAPPING PRINCESS

What to know: Completely Engaging! Very creative and entertaining.
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
Recommended age 10-18
111 minutes
DVD
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NAPPING PRINCESS cover image Click to play video trailer
This film is very creative and entertaining. It reminds me a lot of Studio Ghibli films, which I love and I found myself completely immersed in this movie.

The story centers around a girl named Kokone, who I think has narcolepsy. She often dozes off and dreams about a kingdom known as Heartland. Her father is arrested and accused of stealing technology from a famous company and Kokone and her old friend Morio track him down.

I really like the two main characters, Kokone and Morio. I appreciate their dynamic friendship and their personalities. I truly believe they have a bond that can't be broken. Besides these two and Kokone's dad, none of the other characters stand out that much. Of course, I have to talk about the animation. The animation is beautiful. I've always loved Japanese animation and this film is no different. I love the backgrounds of both the real world and Heartland. I love how the characters move. All of it is so appealing. And speaking of visual stuff, the outfits that the characters wear are amazing. If there was an award for best costume design in animation, this film would win it!

The Heartland dream sequences are the best part of the movie. The dreams have their own story, separate to the story taking place in the real world. The dreams are my type of adventure. A kingdom with a combination of sci-fi and fantasy with lots of action? Perfect! It's also really ingenious. Ancien's magic tablet is one of the most original and imaginative inventions I've ever seen in fiction.

I also love the soundtrack. The background music has a pretty orchestral vibe. The music composer is Yoko Shimomura, a famous video game composer known for working on Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. She also composed one of my favorite video game songs, so I got pretty excited finding this out.

The one thing that did bother me is that the movie is advertised as a sci-fi / fantasy movie. However, there isn't that much fantasy. The movie has elements of fantasy, such as in the dream sequences, but it doesn't feel as if it is an actual fantasy film. This bothered me just a bit. Also, certain things are left unexplained and that left me confused.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, due to some mild language. The film comes out on DVD January 30, 2018 so, check it out!

Reviewed by Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

The Napping Princess is a prodigious film. It brings you into a world of fantasy and adventure. This movie is what everyone thinks about when they are kids but adds a cool twist. It is the type of film that has you so immersed in it, that it makes you want to be in the movie. The film is originally in Japanese, but the translation into English is so impressive that I couldn't believe it was originally in Japanese.

The story takes place in the year 2020, with Kokone (Mitsuki Takahata) dreaming about a world called Heartland. Then, Kokone's dad gets kidnapped for stealing technological ideas and Kokone and her friend Morio (Shinnosuke Mitsushima) must work together to save him. On their adventure, they find out that Kokone's Heartland holds the answers to saving her dad.

The Napping Princess is such an amazing movie. It has a plot that keeps you wanting more. The animation has the classic anime vibe to it. The only negative thing is that some of the words in the film are in Japanese, so it's a little hard to understand because they only have subtitles for some of the words. Even though the dialogue was originally in Japanese, the characters' mouths are still very in sync with the words they say. This story is about a kid's dream morphing into reality. It is such an imaginative story that with such a creative idea as its basis. My favorite character is Joi (Rie Kugimiya). Joi is Kotone's stuffed animal that comes to life in her dreams and is just so cute. My favorite scene is when one of the machines sprouts wings. I like it because it reminds me of a Red Bull commercial.

The message of this film is that things aren't always what they seem and, if you pay attention, the truth will come through. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars because it has an awesome plot which I love and classic anime animation. I recommend this film for ages 7 to 14. It really is a very marvelous film and it is available now on DVD so go check it out.

Reviewed by Dariana A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

From GKIDS comes another imaginative Japanese animated film, Napping Princess. Set in the year 2020, this beautifully-rendered story follows Kokone, a high school senior whose rich fantasy world that she dreams about intersects with the real world as she uncovers a family mystery. The animation is bright and atmospheric, occasionally painterly, and the music ranges from playful to orchestral. The story is more sci-fi than fantasy (though firmly rooted in reality), yet magic plays a major role in the plot development. While occasionally predictable, the story is engaging and Kokone makes for a likable heroine, na�ve yet resourceful in a harsh world. The Blu-ray DVD is impressively sharp. Some strong language is sprinkled throughout. Bonus features include interviews with the director and voice cast members and a short video comparing the backgrounds in the film to the actual locations they are based on. I recommend it for ages 12 to 18 and older and give it 3 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Michael F., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

Napping Princess is a wonderful anime about a lovely young lady drawn between reality and her dreams, due to the fact that she's always nodding off. In her dreams she has fun adventures and sees a fantastical land called Heartland. Little does she know that all of wild dreaming has started causing things to change in the real world as well. Kokone, the protagonist, soon finds that her father has been kidnapped under false pretenses and her beloved dream world holds the key. Her and her childhood friend set off to find her father and clear his name. I genuinely love this movie. I adore anime and am a huge fan of the studio that made this, Gkids. Although I wish that some of the characters had more depth, this film is brilliant and very cute. The animation is lovely and the story is fantastic. This film is great for ages 10 to 16, as well as adults. I give it 5 out of 5 stars! Reviewed by Rachael V., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

In Napping Princess the year is 2020, three days before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. While she should be studying for her exams, Kokone Morikawa is often dozing off, stuck between reality and a dream-world full of fantastic motorized contraptions. But after her father, a talented but mysterious mechanic, is arrested for stealing technology from a powerful corporation, it's up to Kokone and her childhood friend Morio to save him. Together they realize that Kokone's dream-world holds the answers to the mystery behind the stolen tech, and they embark on a journey that traverses dreams and reality, city and country, and past and present. Their mission uncovers a trail of clues to her father's disappearance and ultimately a surprising revelation about Kokone's family. Special Features: Interview with Kenji Kamiyama, Introduction at the Japanese Premiere, Greeting at Japanese Release, Okayama Scenery, Special Interviews with Cast, Special TV Program, Trailers and TV Spots.
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