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Parents' Guide to

My Neighbors the Yamadas

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Quirky animated comedy follows a family's ups and downs.

Movie PG 1999 104 minutes
My Neighbors the Yamadas Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 1 parent review

age 7+

good for all ages

very cool

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (7 ):

It's not for everybody, but fans of Studio Ghibli animation should definitely check out MY NEIGHBORS THE YAMADAS for something a little different. If this were a television series with just one or two short stories an episode, it would be easy to marvel at the spare animation and fully immerse yourself in the Yamadas' sitcom-meets-Japanese-family foibles. But strung together in a 1 hour-and-45-minute-long film, the various stories start to drag, even though individually they're compelling and humorous. Children (and adults) with short attention spans may only be able to watch a couple of stories before wanting to reach for the fast-forward button. Those willing to stick it out, however, will be treated to a unique look at the ups and downs of family life.

The English-dubbed version features familiar voice actors, like Belushi and Shannon, who are entertaining as the bickering parents. Simpsons veteran MacNeille (who's responsible for several characters, including Mrs. Skinner, Brandine, and Lindsay Naegle) is especially notable for evoking how simultaneously curmudgeonly and clever the grandmother is in all the segments. Although it's strange at first to see a Studio Ghibli film that isn't anime, the watercolor palette and minimalist style is perfectly befitting the family's quirks.

Movie Details

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