Children Who Chase Lost Voices: Shinkai Makoto’s animation starts simple enough, but the film quickly creates a world with an expansive and interesting mythology and sends its lovely protagonist into a life-altering adventure. Most characters have complex, conflicting agendas, and they don’t fall into a simplistic black-or-white typification; that results in an engaging and rich narrative. The animation is beautiful and colorful, from the design of the characters to the stunning environments (both the real world and the mythological land, which is inspired by a multitude of sources); the fantastic creatures can be terrifying or eerily beautiful, as well. The musical score, by Tenmon, is not subtle but it accentuates the action and the emotional moments effectively. Voice acting (Kanemoto Hisako, Irino Miyu, Inoue Kazuhiko are the main performers as, respectively, the plucky young heroine, the brave warrior, and the slightly sinister professor) is solid.