Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. The combination of high animé style and old-school heart gives the film a broad enough appeal to merit a wide release. Not that it isn't quirky.
  2. 75
    Demonstrates an idiosyncratic human touch. Kon is unafraid of the unseemly and unsightly. People are captured as they really might be.
  3. 70
    Japanese animator Satoshi Kon has a striking sense of composition, but I'm more impressed by his storytelling skills.
  4. 75
    An animated film both harrowing and heartwarming, about a story that will never, ever, be remade by Disney.
  5. A spellbinding piece of Japanese anime from one of the form's new masters, director-writer Satoshi Kon.
  6. The story is sweet by animé standards, although it has harsh elements as well.
  7. Tokyo Godfathers just might be the equivalent of "It's a Wonderful Life" or, to be hip and new-millennium about it, "Elf."
  8. Like the comic strips of Ben Katchor, Tokyo Godfathers artfully appreciates the beauty and humanity in junked lives and landscapes.
  9. Reviewed by: D. W. Smith
    70
    The story takes some kooky turns and, at times, delves into the supernatural.
  10. 70
    The film is as lively as a cricket and often very funny, but it's not for the cyberpunk crowd.
  11. As with the greatest animated films, the triumph of Kon's work lies not just in its beauty and singularly sophisticated storytelling but in how that beauty and storytelling combine to give the films a sting so human you can forget you're watching a cartoon.
  12. Though he's working with an unavoidably sentimental story, Kon embraces the dark underside of his characters' lives, giving this animated film a satisfyingly three-dimensional feel.
  13. 75
    Ends in magnificent fashion, with skyscrapers bowing to Beethoven's Ninth. It's a stirring ending to a sweet movie.
  14. 91
    This is a first-class film that will appeal to anyone who wants to see a plausible, witty, absorbing human story told well -- indeed, told gorgeously.
  15. Unusual even for Japanese animation.
  16. 50
    No amount of shoehorned-in razzle-dazzle can keep this forced fable from feeling like a shadow of Kon's early work.
  17. Reviewed by: Richard James Havis
    80
    It's a touching movie that, like the best animes, transcends the limitations of the genre.
  18. For all its echoes of Frank Capra and Charlie Chaplin (as well as Ford), the movie is also a love letter to modern Tokyo, whose alleyways and skyscrapers are drafted with flawless precision and tinted with tenderness and warmth.
  19. 50
    Features phenomenally beautiful background animation and complex characterizations, and offers glimpses of a poverty-stricken Tokyo underclass that's rarely featured -- let alone portrayed sympathetically -- in mainstream Japanese films.
  20. Reviewed by: Ken Eisner
    80
    With its masterful grasp of comedy, pathos, social commentary and mystical weirdness, Tokyo Godfathers takes anime to a whole new level.
  21. 70
    A welcome exercise in anime weirdness.
  22. A singularly strange and affecting comedy.
  23. Part of the spell cast by this magical film is its ability to make an unvarnished political statement about economic reality and social alienation while, at the same time, seducing its audience into believing in the transformative power of love and the almost supernatural beauty of the everyday.
  24. 60
    Will probably appeal most to hard-core fans of Japanese animation and its wide-eyed style, both visual and philosophical.

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