My daughter and I both love love love this movie. We can both watch it over & over.... My doing so says more than hers, though, I suppose. ;) The animation, the story, the relationships, the imagination behind the story and characters/objects... all make this a heart-warming, timeless, endearing film. I wish every movie for children were at least a little bit more like this. I also fell in love with Elle Fanning (see her in _Phoebe in Wonderland_ -- not for kids) from this movie. She and sister Dakota do the voices for Satsuki (Dakota) and Mei (Elle).
I was concerned the ill mother or Mei running off might be bothersome for my sensitive daughter, but it is handled so sensitively -- and not at all "Hollywood-ized," exploited, or otherwise over-dramatized -- that she just rolls with it.
I highly recommend it as a quality movie for both parents and kids.