Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
December 20, 2016 9:13 AM - Subscribe

On Christmas Eve, three homeless people living on the streets of Tokyo find a newborn baby among the trash and set out to find its parents.

Roger Ebert gives it 3 stars
Now here is "Tokyo Godfathers," an animated film both harrowing and heartwarming, about a story that will never, ever, be remade by Disney. It's about three homeless people -- an alcoholic, a drag queen and a girl of about 11 -- who find an abandoned baby in the trash on a cold Christmas Eve, and try for a few days to give it a home. The title makes a nod to John Ford's "3 Godfathers" (1948), where three desperados (led by John Wayne) rescue a baby from its dying mother on Christmas Eve and try to raise it, at one point substituting axle grease for baby oil.
posted by the man of twists and turns (5 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
This movie is part of the Holiday Movie Club
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:13 AM on December 20, 2016

IMDB lists 3 previous silent films based on the same story; 2 are considered lost.
posted by brujita at 12:01 PM on December 20, 2016

R.I.P. Satoshi Kon, he was a great director and this is a great film.
posted by Atreides at 12:11 PM on December 20, 2016 [7 favorites]

I love this movie and it's earned a permanent place in my Christmas movie/special/episode playlist.

I love the whole idea of "family" this movie puts forth -- you can have the families you've born into but also the families you've found. The more magical elements contribute to that concept. It's just so wonderful and life-affirming.

I think Hana is a bit more complicated now than the character was when the movie first came out, but Tokyo Godfathers (the movie!) never treats Hana with anything less than respect. Sometimes the other characters do not, but Hana gets to be Hana. Hana is a complicated character and I love that.

(I think Miyuki is more like 15ish than 11, but I'll let that go.)

Satoshi Kon always used to get questions about "Why are your movies animated rather than live action?" and while he had good answers, it mostly felt like "Are you kidding?" Tokyo Godfathers works because it's animated. I think a live-action version would have been fine but I would not have connected with it as much.

One of my favorite experiences was getting to be in the same room with Satoshi Kon at the Freer Gallery of Art. We saw this and then we saw Paprika and he talked about both. So amazing. I feel so incredibly honored I got to experience that. I still miss you, Satoshi Kon.
posted by darksong at 8:28 PM on December 20, 2016 [7 favorites]

I watched this for the first time this year. I enjoyed it, the characters seemed like their own family, and each resolved with their families in turn.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:19 PM on December 27, 2017

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