“When Marnie Was There”-Studio Ghibli Movie Review

Hello! Today, I will review a Studio Ghibli film called “When Marnie was There”. This movie came out in 2015 and is 1 hr. and 43 mins. Like many Studio Ghibli films, there were the dubbed version or the subbed one, but I watched the subbed one since that has the original voices and I believed that it gets you into the mood more.

Genre: Mystery, Family, & Movie

Plot: A 12-year old girl named Anna is adopted and feels like she does not belong or is not wanted. She has trouble making friends and has asthma. Her fostered mother sends her to the countryside in hopes of her making new friends and to help improve her health. She stays with her fostered mother’s friends and one day she finds a mysterious mansion. During the day, the mansion is empty and the marsh that surrounds it is at low tide, but at night there seems that someone lives there and the marsh turns to high tide. She meets a young blonde girl named, Marnie,who it seems Anna is the only one who is able to see her. The story goes on as Anna tries to figure out who Marnie is and tries to uncover her story.

THOUGHTS: Just as all the other Studio Ghibli films, this one was just as perfect. From beginning to end, you get hooked and have to keep watching. From my point of view, the characters have grown and their dramatic changes are easily noticeable. The art was breathtaking and it makes me want to go visit the countryside and this mysterious mansion. By the end of the movie, my eyes were welled with tears and my heart felt so warm. The ending seemed short, but the entire story gradually built up to it, so there was a sense of finality. You can tell it’s a Studio Ghibli film since a lot of their films I’ve watched always make you feel warm inside after each ending. It kind of makes you want to watch more of his films to keep that feeling going.

The plot and the way the story was executed was so beautiful. I feel like I was taken back in time since the mansion was so old and its design does not fit the modern era.The way Marnie dressed also clued on that there was a time difference. I did see some similarities as the other movies, but that’s a given since it was produced by the same company. Even if Hayao Miyazaki was not the one to produce it himself, Hiromasa Yonebayashi did an excellent job! At the beginning when Anna just found the mansion and went over to investigate, time passed by as she did. In the early afternoon there was a low tide and she could easily walk to the mansion through the marsh, but at night, she had to take a boat to get there. It kind of reminded me of “Spirited Away”. When Chihiro ( the main character of “Spirited Away”), arrives at the temple, everything was just land, but at night when she tried to escape, the land turned to water. It was just like “When Marnie was There” and indicated the time difference from morning to afternoon. I got the sense of familiarity also when Anna goes to her family relatives’ home. It was like when Chihiro moves into her new house. Also when Anna sees an older women (named Hisako) painting on top of the hill, I immediately made a reference to Naoko from “The Wind Rises”.

Throughout the story, there are subtle clues that reveal who Marnie actually was. Before I watched the movie, I saw the trailer on YouTube (as I always do before watching any movie) and made the mistake of reading a spoiler comment (which I regret T^T). I didn’t know the actual ending, but I had gotten a gust of what to expect. Haha, there was also a comment that said they had shipped Marnie and Anna together, but that’s not possible (that was not a spoiler, it’s obvious that’s not possible before you even watch the movie).

So overall, I very much enjoyed it. It was a beautiful film and Studio Ghibli had done it once again! I seriously want to go to Japan and visit their museum!! It’ll be so golden O^O. If you can spare 2 hours, pls. watch it and send it your support!!

-Thanks for reading! Pls. leave a comment, like, and follow!!

~CY @ kpop9019


Image result for when marnie was there

(**picture found from Google Images)

10 thoughts on ““When Marnie Was There”-Studio Ghibli Movie Review

  1. I have to be honest that the ending of this film confused the heck out of me. I literally had to google it and read the plot in order to understand what actually happened. Like was Marnie real? Why was Anna able to see her? What was the connection between the past and the present? It just got so confusing to me after one point and I didn’t really know how to follow on with it anymore @_@ I do agree with you that the film is beautifully made. Anything by Studio Ghibli is just out of this world. Anyway, keep up with the great work! This was a wonderful read ^__^

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ok… Btw if anyone else reads this comment, beware this may ruin your life; jk maybe just the movie. Marnie was actually Anna’s grandmother so that is why she is the only one who could see her. Marnie lived a sad life since she grew up being neglected. When she grew up she married Kazuhiko. She had a daughter named Emily but when Emily was in elementary school she sent her to boarding school cuz Marnie was ill and couldn’t take care of her. She also couldn’t get over her husband’s death. Emily hated her mother for abandoning her and soon got married. She gave birth to Anna, but she and her husband die from an accident. Determined not to make the same mistake again, Marnie takes care of Anna and shows her the love she needed. However, she dies 1 year later and Anna is left alone until she meets her foster parents. Wow, that was reallyyy long… and that’s basically the ending… I apologize again for any unfortunate souls who decided to read this comment and for ruining the movie. Anyways, thanks for following me!! :DDD

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Last Week Today: Week End Recap- Oct. 2nd to Oct. 8th | Nice Job Breaking It, Hero

  3. I watched this a few months back and I was in tears at the end as well! It was such a bittersweet film. I truly enjoyed seeing how Ghibli addressed social and familial issues. I went into the movie blind (without even knowing the entire premise), so the slow reveal of who Marnie surprised me. This movie certainly didn’t disappoint.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Also, I wanted to thank you for your review. You brought up some wonderful points with the beautiful animation style and the feeling that washes over you when watching a Ghibli film!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love that movie “When Marnie Was There”. I read the book of it just before I saw that movie. Where I watched it, it was at the Toronto International Film Festival. The same place where they held the Stanley Kubrick exhibition. And after seeing that movie, I gave that 10/10 stars on my movie blog. And it was totally a masterpiece.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Liked by 1 person

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