Review: GOODBYE, DON GLEES!, Farewell to Summer. Farewell to Youth.

Directed by Atsuko Ishizuka, the coming of age story is captured in beautiful animation and heartfelt emotions.

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas, US (@peteramartin)
Review: GOODBYE, DON GLEES!, Farewell to Summer. Farewell to Youth.

Where did the time go?

Goodbye, Don Glees!
The film opens in cinemas September 14, 18 and 20 only. Visit the official GKIDS site for locations and ticket information.

Once upon a time we were young.

Those times were filled with energy that we can only admire from afar nowadays, marveling at the joyful activity of running, scampering about on scooters, and riding our bicycles with abandon, unafraid of what might be coming just around the corner.

Director Atsuko Ishizuka, whose marvelous series A Place Further Than the Universe, captures all these feelings with a light yet wistful touch, looking back upon the teenage years in a manner that's only possible with the passage of time.

Roma, Toto and Drop have reunited in their native hometown, the sort of place where everyone knows your name and they're always glad you came. It's a friendly town. Even so, some of the young people still think it's cool to be cruel to their physically weaker peers, sneering at anyone who dares to be different.

Roma, Toto and Drop are different. So they find strength and succor in a name, Don Glees, whose meaning they don't even understand. But it's theirs, and so are their silly, meaningless, memorable adventures in the woods that surround their hometown.

One day, they are accused on social media -- by the bullies -- of causing a forest fire that caused considerable damage. Though they are completely innocent, they conclude that circumstantial evidence might lead others to conclude otherwise. So off they go on another adventure in the woods, in search of a lost drone that they hope will clear them of any wrongdoing.

It's the journey, though, and not the destination that draws them ever closer in the brief time that follows. Before, they were "friends," in that they were friendly to each other and supported each other, but they didn't truly know know each other. They were not able to articulate why.

It's not the love that dares not speak its name or anything like that. Really, they have not yet reached the point in their lives when they will begin to express such profound emotions as love. But it's the beginning of love, of a kind that will bond them forever in spirit, if not in body.

That summer links Roma, Toto and Drop together in a bond of friendship that will never be broken. Or, at least it seems that way, and at that age, that's all that matters.

Director Atsuko Ishizuka and her talented team of cinematic artists have painted a gorgeous portrait of youth, and of summer, and of days gone by, and of joys not yet beheld.

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animationAtsuko IshizukaGKIDSJapan

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