SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO Director Goes Kid Friendly in FRIENDS: NAKI ON THE MONSTER ISLAND
Director Takashi Yamazaki (Space Battleship Yamato, Returner) is no stranger to live action filled with stunning visual effects but Friends: Naki on the Monster Island (aka Friends: Mononoke Shima no Naki, もののけ島のナキ) will be his first foray into a full CG animated feature-length. Based on an children's book, it tells a story about the unconditional friendship between two monsters and a human child. The voice cast include SMAP's Shingo Katori and Kouichi Yamadera as Naki & Gunjo, the two Oni (Japanese demon/ogre) that encounters the boy, Kotake.
In a country strangely similar to Japan, there is an island floating on the middle of a lake. It is said that monsters have been living there from the ancient time so that people feared the island calling it "the Monster Island." But in reality, the monsters living there are sweet and are in fact living their lives fearing the humans.Toho will release the animated film in 2D and 3D theaters on December 17th. You'll find the trailer embedded below.
One day, a human child named Kotake wanders off into the island. Surprisingly, Naki, a red ogre who is difficult to please and therefore unpopular among others, ends up taking care of him. Naki hates other ogres as well as humans, and has been living a lonely life, but starts living together with his only friend Gunjo, who is a blue ogre, and the human child Kotake. Through the life with Gunjo and Kotake, Naki gradually opens up his heart and gets to know the meaning of tenderness. However, the merry living together doesn't last long. Since Kotake comes to miss his parents, Naki sends him back to his village. But when the villagers see Naki, they beat him off, and Naki is stripped away from Kotake.
Naki gets depressed after losing Kotake. Seeing his discouraged friend, Gunjo makes up his mind to do a certain thing, which separates Gunjo and Naki forever.
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