Review: The Boy and the Beast

I’ve had this movie on my “to watch” list for a good while now. It wasn’t until after our previous episode of Super S that I finally decided to give a whirl. I should have just left it there.

In a nutshell, The Boy and the Beast is about two beasts duking it out to take over for the grandmaster of the beast world as he is retiring and going to reincarnate into a god. One of the beasts, Kumatetsu (the beast), is in search of a disciple and decides to pluck one from the human world. Kumatetsu bumps into Ren (the boy), a runaway, and decides to take him on as his disciple. The story goes from there.

The-Boy-and-the-Beast-PosterThe animation in this movie is top notch. Everything is absolutely stunning. Both the beast world and human world are fucking gorgeous. There’s just the right amount of CG that it’s not overbearing or annoying. There are times when the human world looks like it’s an actual photo of Tokyo. It’s that good. The characters are also unique, no one character looks like the next. This is helped by the fact that the story mostly takes place in the beast world.

Sadly, though, I was bored halfway through the movie. The first half was great and chock full of character development. It was nice to see how Ren and Kumatetsu needed each and are better beings because of it. It’s just that the story dragged. As it is, the movie is two hours long, longer than your typical animated movie. Even then, it didn’t get to the climax until the last 20 minutes.

There’s also an underlying message in this movie: don’t let the darkness in your heart turn you into a monster. Great message, but did the grandmaster really have to tell us this as if we couldn’t figure it out on our own? No. It was painfully obvious when the “villain” turns to a black figure with a wormhole near his heart. Speaking of villain and painfully obvious, how stupid is everyone? From the second he was introduced, I knew that he was... well, I won't tell you that part.

Of course the movie ends with a happy ending, but by then I really didn’t care and just wanted it to finish. I went into this movie wanting so much and was extremely let down. The animation is by far the star and the saving grace of the movie, which is a real shame.

[su_box title="Score: 2/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]

The Boy and the Beast
Writer/Director: Mamoru Hosoda