This year, it’s a common theme that the films I truly love have been ones I expected to like but –for whatever reason– did not expect to love. Films with high concepts that I did not expect to leave me with tears in my eyes or with a renewed urge to look inward and assess my life and being. Nine Days is the third such film this year. A beautiful achievement from director Edson Oda (in his debut feature, no less), Nine Days treads a unique path to an emotional catharsis that will leave you with a renewed sense of hope.
Animation is a medium in which is not limited by imagination. If you can think of it, you can make it happen on screen. The best animated stories have bright, imaginative worlds populated with endearing, relatable characters, and a story that appeals to young and old alike; and most importantly a theme that makes the whole thing work in our world, too.
Raya and the Last Dragon is one of these animated stories. Set in a world inspired by a variety of south-east asian cultures, and following a young woman on a quest to repair a world torn apart by lack of trust, this movie is the real deal. Shocking, I know.