My Neighbors the Yamadas
My Neighbors the Yamadas (Japanese: ホーホケキョとなりの山田くん, Hepburn: Hōhokekyo Tonari no Yamada-kun) is a 1999 Japanese animated comedy film written and directed by Isao Takahata, animated by Studio Ghibli for Tokuma Shoten, Nippon Television Network, Hakuhodo and Buena Vista Home Entertainment, and co-distributed by Toho and Shochiku. The film stars Hayato Isobata, Masako Araki, Naomi Uno, Touru Masuoka, Yukiji Asaoka, Akiko Yano, and Kosanji Yanagiya. Unlike the other films of Studio Ghibli, the film is presented in a stylized comic strip aesthetic, a departure from the traditional anime style of the studio's other works.
|My Neighbors the Yamadas|
Japanese Film Poster
|Hepburn||Hōhokekyo Tonari no Yamada-kun|
|Directed by||Isao Takahata|
|Screenplay by||Isao Takahata|
by Hisaichi Ishii
|Narrated by||David Ogden Stiers (English dub)|
|Music by||Akiko Yano|
|Edited by||Takeshi Seyama|
|Box office||¥1.56 billion|
The film is a series of vignettes following the daily lives of the Yamada family: Takashi and Matsuko (the father and mother), Shige (Matsuko's mother), Noboru (aged approximately 13, the son), Nonoko (aged approximately 5, the daughter), and Pochi (the family dog).
Each of the vignettes is preceded by a title such as "Father as Role Model", "A Family Torn Apart" or "Patriarchal Supremacy Restored". These vignettes cover such issues as losing a child in a department store, the relationships between father and son, or husband and wife, the wisdom of age, getting one's first girlfriend and many more. Each is presented with humour, presenting a very believable picture of family life which crosses cultural boundaries. The relationships between Matsuko, Takashi and Shige are particularly well observed, with Shige giving advice and proverbs to all the family members, and having a great strength of character which far outweighs Matsuko's. Takashi and Matsuko's relationship is often the focus of the episodes, their rivalries, such as arguing about who has control of the television, their frustrations and their difficulties, but the overriding theme is their love for one another despite their flaws, and their desire to be the best parents possible for their children.
- Touru Masuoka as Takashi Yamada
- Yukiji Asaoka as Matsuko Yamada
- Hayato Isobata as Noboru Yamada
- Naomi Uno as Nonoko Yamada
- Masako Araki as Shige Yamano
- Akiko Yano as Fujihara-Sensei
- Kosanji Yanagiya as Haiku Reader
Based on the yonkoma manga Nono-chan by Hisaichi Ishii, it is the first completely digital Studio Ghibli film. Takahata wanted Yamada-kun to have the art style of watercolor pictures rather than cel pictures. To achieve that, the traditional paint-on-cel techniques were replaced with digital technology, making Yamada-kun the first Ghibli film to have animation drawings painted entirely on computers.
The soundtrack was composed by Akiko Yano and it is characterised by very short piano themes. Classical pieces played by Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra conducted by Mario Klemens. Released by Tokuma on 1 July 1999.
- CD 1
- "Theme I: And So It Begins" 1:45
- "Joyous Music I: Going Forward with Reckless Abandon" 0:26
- "Cuckoo I: Not Like the Main Title" 0:28
- "Extract from Chopin's "Nocturne No. 1 in B Flat Minor", Op. 9" 4:13
- "Extract from Mahler's "Symphony No. 5", 1st Movement, Funeral March" 0:29
- "Extract from Mendelsson's Wedding March" 4:22
- "My Neighbors the Yamadas" Theme (Orchestra Version)" 3:34
- Happy Bridge" 0:21
- "Evening Waltz Theme (Orchestra Version)" 1:43
- "Lively BGM" 3:21
- "The Dog's Policeman" 2:25
- "Troubles (BGM I)" 1:08
- "Troubles (BGM II)" 0:24
- "Sunset Scamper" (1:01)
- "Theme II: Thank Goodness" 1:11
- "Shut Up and Bring It Here!" 0:34
- "Joyous Music II: Please, Stop Pushing, Right Now!" 0:52
- "Cuckoo II: Oh, Welcome Home" 0:29
- "Happy Bridge II" 0:15
- "Takashi and Matsuko's Tango" 0:59
- "Pom Poko Tanuki Band" (Wakaya Rakudan) 1:13
- "Joyous Music III: A Happy Mouth" 0:25
- "A Father's Sorrow" 0:39
- "Paradise of Freedom" 0:23
- "Extract from Mahler's "Symphony No. 1", "Giant", 4th Movement 3:32
- "Theme III: Spring Rain" 3:32
- "Cuckoo III" 0:28
- "Cuckoo IV: The Correct Answer" 0:26
- "Cuckoo V"
- CD 2
- "Round Of Forgotten Things I: Morning Blessings" 1:16
- "Round Of Forgotten Things II: Morning Blessings" 1:19
- "Cherry Cherry" 0:45
- "Extract from Albinoni's Adagio" 2:07
- "Young People" 1:42
- "Cuckoo VI: Summer Dreams" 0:28
- "Joyous Music III: School is Fun" 0:50
- "Exciting BGM" 0:45
- "Phone Line" 2:56
- "Bach: Prelude and Fugue No. 8 in E Flat Minor" 4:14
- "Cheerful Music III: Going My Way" 1:16
- "Round of Forgotten Things: Bridge" 0:28
- "Round III of Forgotten Things: Good Advice" 0:36
- "The Masked Moonbeam Theme Song, "Who is the Masked Moonbeam?" (Yoshiko Kondou) 3:24
- "Broken Dreams" 0:24
- "Mozart's "Toy's Symphony", Movement No. 2" 2:27
- "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)" 3:20
- "Quit Being Alone" 3:55
Despite the positive reviews, the film did not fare as well at the box office in Japan as other Ghibli films had done.
My Neighbors the Yamadas was released on DVD in America in August 2005, alongside another Takahata film, Pom Poko by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. A Blu-ray version was released in Japan in 2010, and in the UK the following year. The US never got a Blu-ray release by Disney, but GKIDS released the film on Blu-ray for the first time in the US, as well as re-issuing the DVD under a new deal with Studio Ghibli on January 16, 2018.
My Neighbors the Yamadas received an Excellence Award for animation at the 1999 Japan Media Arts Festival.
- "My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)". IMDb.
- "Year 1999 Average Exchange Rate (1 USD = 130.99 JPY)". OFX. Archived from the original on 23 November 2017. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- "Flashback: My Neighbors the Yamadas – unusual Ghibli animation captures the little pleasures in life". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- "Hôhokekyo Tonari No Yamadâkun". www.bcdb.com, 13 May 2012
- For a much more detailed plot synopsis, covering every episode in detail see: plot synopsis.
- Carolyn Giardina (17 July 2017). "Gkids, Studio Ghibli Ink Home Entertainment Deal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 July 2017.