Based on a short story by the popular children's writer Kenji Miyazawa, Galactic Railroad offers viewers a slow-paced, dreamlike journey through space and time. When Giovanni, a lonely boy in a hill town, goes to get milk for his ailing mother, he finds himself crossing the Milky Way on a faster-than-light steam railroad. The stations he visits in various constellations, like the planets explored by St. Exupery's Little Prince, offer curious adventures and an assortment of human "types." Reality and fantasy blur aboard the train, and its travels across the light-years sometimes suggests the journey through life. The characters are depicted as cats, presumably to avoid the problems of animating humans.
This is a movie for dreamers. That's as simple as I can state it. It evokes strong interest and emotion from the viewer. I was on the edge of my seat. It is paced much like an odyssey-traveling along an ever changing magical landscape that you feel you are becoming part of. The artwork has a simplistic beauty that is extremely pleasing to the eye. There is a feeling of drama and intensity all throughout, even in the smallest of scenes you feel as if you are on the verge of-something, something big. This movie is for the fantasy, fairytale and visual experience fans.
I feel like I have just watched my first piece of fantastical anime. That's a pretty huge feeling, I hope you can share the same.
Night on the Galactic Railroad, or Ginga Tetsudou no Yoru, may be based on a children's book, but it's definitely a movie anyone can enjoy. To be completely honest, I think I would've been seriously scared had I watched this when I was younger - it's quite creepy at times. Almost all characters in NotGR are cats with human proportions for some reason. I don't know if this was the case in the original book, but I never felt like it mattered, actually. Judging from the synopsis, it was because the animators were lazy, and that may've been the case for all I know.
starts off on an Italian-esque countryside, on the day of the so called Centaurus Festival. We are introduced to the movie's main character, a blue cat named Giovanni, who apparently is being bullied because of his father's line of work (smuggler) and is living together with his sister and sickly mother. When the night of the festival draws near, he is once again ostracized by the other kids - or should I say kittens? - and runs up on a hill from which he gazes up on the starry sky with awe. Suddenly, a flash of light appears and with it a magnificient train, which he boards together with his only friend Campanella, who was following him up the hill. Together they embark on a compelling journey as the train moves across the Milky Way.
The first thirty or so minutes of the movie are horribly slow, but after the characters have boarded the train, the pacing is screwed up a notch or two.
With the movie being made in 1985, it's no surprise that its animation is dated. Especially the characters look very simple, without much detail to them. On the other hand, the sceneries the two cats encounter during their journey are highly imaginitive; a walnut-littered excavation site of some kind of gigantic dinosaur skeleton; an immense field of corn with an unsuspended pendulum swinging in the blue sky above. And the like. I don't want to spoil too much, but there are some really interesting vistas to be seen. Night on the Galactic Railroad might not be as technically competent as contemporary Ghibli movies, but it certainly has got heart.
Cats and even some humans board the train and disappear into thin air as suddenly as they came, lending the movie an even more mysterious atmosphere. There aren't any deep personalities to be found here, though, but I doesn't matter - it's the journey and the journey alone that is the core of this movie and it's interesting enough.
Night on the Galactic Railroad features mostly classical music. Among the tracks we find the New World Sympony and Halleluja Chorus for example. Looking at the latter of those two, it's not too surprising that there are some Christian elements incorporated into the story more or less obviously, like it or not. Putting that aside, the music fits the mood most of the time, but there are some creepy, more ambient tunes that seem sort of misplaced in their context. Which in a way only serves to make the atmosphere even more creepy.
So, to summarize, this movie was quite a trip. It's very slow-paced in the beginning, but if you get past the first boring thirty minutes, you're in for an experience unlike any other.
Night on the galactic Railroad is quite the ride… to say the least. Before beginning this movie I had been given fair warning, yet I still proceeded giving it the benefit of the doubt.
Have you ever smoked acid? Me neither, but I’m pretty sure this story is something that might pop into your head if you did. Get ready for the ride of your life as you follow two cardboard cutouts into a cluster of strange and meaningless scenes. Usually stories have linear plots and character developments with a twist at the end that makes
everything make sense. Gisaburou Sugii throws all of that out the windows. Night on the Galactic Railroad is a tale that will leave you shocked at the fact that you just spent over an hour of your life watching nothing.
Bambi was made in 1942 and the animation still hold up to this day. Night on the Galactic Railroad was made in the mid 1980’s (38 years later) and the animation was terrible. This is a slideshow of a movie. Almost every shot is either a panning shot or a series of recycled animation.
Never has there been a more disturbing sound track in anime. For 113 minutes I squirmed in my seat out of discomfort. The soundtrack consists of nothing but scary, creepy, and unsettling music. Even if the characters are going through something heartfelt or loving the music would cut in and ruin everything. The quality of the music is also a problem. This static music not only sounds bad but it breaks all illusion of immersion, destroying the atmosphere, which in all honesty is a breath of fresh air.
Have you ever sat down and looked at a piece of cardboard covered in crayon scribble. That’s basically the experience of watching these characters on the screen. There has never been a more cold hearted character as Giovanni. This ice cold cat stares without compassion as children drown before his eyes. The only other being that is as heartless as Giovanni is his prick friend Campanella. This couple stares poker-faced as they see horrific sights and atrocities committed in front of them. It does not matter what these characters go through, their facial expressions will not change in the slightest.
The sound scraped against my ears, the animation scraped against my eyes, and the story scraped against my soul. This movie was uncomfortable, horribly written, and everything about it made me want to turn it off. This was a train-wreck of a movie.
I would not recommend this movie to anyone and neither should you.
This is one of the most atmospheric movies I've seen in awhile. It's very abstract, the animation and character design is very well done, especially for its age. This story stresses on friendship and makes you reflect on life. It impacted me very emotionally at the end, and there were many scenes I did not expect at all. The music, especially, was very well placed, and pleasing to the ear. Overall, this is the kind of movie I would love to show to all of my friends.
You think you know anime movies? Have you seen all 30 of these movies on our best anime movie list? Our writer sets themselves a only-one-movie-per-director rule and comes up with 30 movies every anime fan must see.
Let's take a quick jog around memory lane and remember those anime you used to watch and enjoy as kids. Feel the nostalgia and see if your favorites made the list and discover more that other children enjoyed.