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Parents' Guide to

When Marnie Was There

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Beautifully animated but slow tale about unique friendship.

Movie PG 2015 103 minutes
When Marnie Was There Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 8+

A Thoughtful, Gorgeous Film!

Another classic to add to Studio Ghibli's films! Absolutely stunning and deep. I would definitely allow and child to watch this, a little explanation might me needed about some parts. But it is all explained by the end. There are some scary parts, but nothing a kid 8 and up couldn't handle, possibly even a bit younger. Studio Ghibli has a way of allowing the philosophy and depth of a story to be understood by adults as well as children. The plot has twists and turns that all viewers will enjoy! With a truly beautiful backdrop and well thought out characters that the viewer comes to care about. As always with Studio Ghibli, a movie of pure quality and refinement. Overall a truly lovely film for movie time with older kids or a date night.
age 8+

Ghibli won't fail you

It was an interesting watch. Yes, the children may not be able to understand the plot fully by themselves, but hey it's ok to not understand something fully, be it a kid or an adult. I personally think the parts that the kids can easily get matters the most - to be comfortable with who you are. I'm eager to watch this with my 8 year old son. I truly enjoyed the layers the movie offered.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (29 ):

This is an interesting, beautifully animated story about a fragile, self-deprecating young girl. But it's also very slow-moving, occasionally confusing, and in certain scenes too emotional to compel younger audiences used to action-packed plots or clear story lines with relatable characters. Though kids may not be the target audience at all, of course, since Studio Ghibli films are beloved by adult animation aficionados.

But even the biggest Ghibli devotee will have to concede that, while visually pretty and sometimes touching, When Marnie Was There lacks something as well. It's not going to stand among Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Howl's Moving Castle as the best the legendary studio has produced. Even if you divorce yourself from the outrageous expectations that every Ghibli film be a masterpiece, When Marnie Was There is undeniably more style than substance. It's still absolutely worth checking out for its gothic elements of the is-she-or-isn't-she ghost story, but it isn't a case of saving the best for last.

Movie Details

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