FILM: Jellyfish Eyes

Jellyfish EyesI’ve been a fan of the artwork of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and his “superflat” pop-art inspired characters, so the potential to see them come alive in his new directorial debut Jellyfish Eyes was an interesting prospect. In the U.S., Murakami might be best known for his cover of Kanye West’s Graduation album and his collaboration with Louis Vuitton, but he’s been a rising star in the art world for years. Jellyfish Eyes is a children’s film which is a blend between early to mid career Steven Spielberg films with popular Japanese crossover icons like Godzilla, Miyazaki, and Pokemon.

The film centers around a young boy Masashi who moves to a small new town with his mother after the death of his father and soon after finds a friendly, flying, sprite which resembles a jellyfish. He names the sprite Kurage-bo and soon after finds all the kids in this small town have what he learns to be F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and not all of whom are so friendly. The film’s mix of animated characters with live action is a bit odd at first but then again so is the plot so it’s easy to suspend disbelief with all the fantasy elements.

Jellyfish Eyes merges parts of Japan’s kawaii (cute) culture with the action of anime and some darker real-world realities like bullying and post-Fukushima energy into an off-beat lesson for kids. The biggest issue with the film is that it takes on too much trying to mix big issues with a classic kids film and anime while trying to stay kid-friendly, which at times is jarring. If you’re a fan of Japanimation or of Murakami’s it is definitely a film to catch for the creative characters alone.

Jellyfish Eyes is now on DVD and )n-Demand video streaming services.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

About Tim Needles

Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com
Starbucks Whole Bean Coffee

Leave a comment

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *