Blu-ray Disc -- The Perfect Hi-Def Movie Experience.
"The aerial showdowns are often ravishing in their vertigo abstractions, but Mamoru Oshii's new anime is far more concerned with the existential dogfights within the characters' psyches. Fernando F. Croce, Slant Magazine
|From Mamoru Oshii, the world-acclaimed director of Ghost in the Shell comes an award-winning story of an exciting but endless war with heroes too young to understand the reality of their battles.|
A group of eternally young fighter pilots known as Kildren experience the sudden loss of innocence as they battle the enemy in astonishing dogfights above the clouds. With his only childhood memory consisting of intense flight training, the fearless teenage pilot Yuichi's dogfights coexist with his struggle to find his missing past. When his beautiful, young female commander Suito is reluctant to discuss the fate of the pilot that Yuichi is replacing -- or the strangely perfect condition of that pilot's former aircraft -- Yuichi's curiosity becomes heightened.
"...[the] quality is excellent, with some really photo-realistic moments, and aerial dogfights that look as real as if they really built those planes and shot them in mid air. Stefan S., A Nutshell Review
From the director of the iconic sci-fi anime THE GHOST IN THE SHELL comes this stunning vision of a world in which eternally youthful fighter pilots lose their innocence after being foisted into a war they?re too young to even fully grasp. Innocence is lost in the most dizzying manner imaginable when one such fighter pilot, a teenage boy named Yuichi whose childhood memories consist only of visions of combat, begins to question the fate of the soldier he?s replacing.
Cast & Crew
Venice Film Festival (2008)
||Mamoru Oshii, Winner, Future Film Festival Digital Award
||Mamoru Oshii, Nominee, Golden Lion Award
3 stars out of 5 -- "[A] dark, engagingly surreal thought-provoker animated with Oshii's customary grace and flair."
Sight and Sound
"The film combines simple anime characters and handsomely drawn backgrounds with near-photoreal CGI for the sky scenes."
Screen International 7 of 10
Mamoru Oshii's most meditative feature-length animation to date tells the story of a group of genetically modified eternally-young fighter aces in a world where war has become a company-sponsored reality game. Like the Peter-Pan 'Kildren' that it depicts, The Sky Crawlers acts more grown up than it really is, dragging out what is essentially a barracks love story with endless meaningful glances, cigarette pauses and sudden gushes of world-weary philosophising. But while its measured pacing -- not to say sluggishness -- is a new departure for the director of Ghost In The Shell films, there's just enough aerial combat action to keep most of the boys happy some of the time...Though hardcore anime fans will lap this up, young adult audiences schooled on Pixar, and whose experience of Japanese 2-D animation is limited to Hayao Miyazaki's magical oeuvre, may be a little put off by the old-school look of the cell animation characters. Though backgrounds are lush and the stirring dogfight scenes work an often intriguing meld of 3-D and 2-D, there are still moments when it jars to see a flat, hand drawn pilot with Photoshop shading standing next to a meticulously painted, fully textured plane...The story is told elegantly in gradual, slow-drip mode; it's not until close to the end that the full context and backstory are pieced together...The art direction is superb, placing sleek but unfuturistic fantasy double-prop planes that planespotters will get excited about in a dowdy context of Second World War British airfields and American midwest diners. The only town we see has something retro Eastern European about it, nodding at the steampunk anime tradition most closely associated with Katsuhiro Otomo. Lucas divison Skywalker Sound worked on the crystalline dogfight sound design, and the wistful ambient music, by longtime Oshii collaborator Kenji Kawaii, is a delight.
- Lee Marshall