A Whisker Away Parent Guide
This family friendly anime film comes with messages about believing in yourself and remaining hopeful.
Parent Movie Review
Miyo (Mirai Shida) has had a hard time at since her parents’ divorce. Even her school crush, Hinode (Natsuki Hanae) doesn’t seem to notice her. Things are going downhill – until Miyo finds a mysterious Mask Seller (Koichi Yamadera), a large cat who gives her a mask which allows her to transform into a small white cat. In her new guise, Miyo runs into Hinode, who names her Taro and can’t seem to spend enough time with her. But Miyo knows this can’t last forever, and the Mask Seller seems to agree, constantly encouraging her to give up her human face and stay a cat…
Family-friendly anime comes in a few flavors: tragic, cute, and weird. A Whisker Away is the last two. It’s very cute, especially if you like cats, and has a surprisingly touching and heartfelt story. It’s also got a healthy helping of strangeness, mostly in the form of the Mask Seller, who is equal parts Cheshire Cat and Ursula, the campy villainess from The Little Mermaid. It’s a fun combination, but it’s also…weird. That said, there aren’t as many “lost in translation” moments as you sometimes get with anime productions. Not everything that is expected or traditional in Japanese storytelling translates smoothly for a western audience, but by and large this is quite accessible.
But the story has more to it than “cute” and “weird”. Miyo’s struggles with her parents’ divorce and with her new stepmother, Kaoru (Ayako Kawasumi) are surprisingly non-dramatic. Miyo isn’t running around slamming doors and yelling at Kaoru – nor is Kaoru the wicked stepmother, trying to invade Miyo’s family. Instead, both characters are complex and well-rounded and that complexity makes the story much more effective.
A Whisker Away is a good family movie, but only if your crew are quick readers. This production is only available with subtitles, and so younger children who can’t read or can’t read quickly aren’t going to have much fun. On the plus side, there are almost no content concerns, aside from some brief smoking and slapstick violence. Miyo does display some…inadvisable behavior at school, but it does come with consequences. Luckily, she might not have nine lives, but Miyo still manages to land on her feet and learn to value herself. This hopeful message is an important one for tween and teen viewers as they struggle with the challenges of adolescence.Directed by Jun'ichi Sato & Tomotaka Shibayama. Starring Natsuki Hanae, Hiroaki Ogi, and Mirai Shida. Running time: 104 minutes. Theatrical release June 18, 2020. Updated August 31, 2020
Watch the trailer for A Whisker Away
A Whisker Away
Rating & Content Info
Why is A Whisker Away rated TV-PG? A Whisker Away is rated TV-PG by the MPAA
Violence: There are several scenes of slapstick violence, including pushing, shoving, slapping, and being hit with random objects. An individual jumps off a roof, falls through tree branches, and is shown with some small scratches.
Sexual Content: None.
Alcohol / Drug Use: An individual is shown smoking on two occasions.
Page last updated August 31, 2020
A Whisker Away Parents' Guide
Miyo struggles with her parents’ messy divorce, and with relating to Kaoru, her new step-mother. Resources for both parents and children going through divorce can be found here.
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