Junkers Come Here (review)

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With its beautifully illustrative animation, reminiscent of a children’s book, and its bittersweet, reassuring story, this is a film kids will take to heart… and one parents can feel comfortable about letting them do so. With her overworked, mostly absent parents on the verge of divorce and her 23-year-old tutor — the one she has a crush on — threatening to marry his girlfriend, the only constant in 11-year-old Hiromi’s life is her dog, Junkers (pronounced “Yoon-kers”). A spunky little terrier with an aversion to cats and a penchant for using public toilets instead of fireplugs, Junkers has a couple of secrets he shares only with Hiromi: he can talk, and he can make three of her dearest wishes come true. The little dash of magic that is Junkers will comfort any child who’s discovering that growing up is more complicated than could be imagined… and this wonderfully original and low-key story will help them find the magic spark of self-confidence in themselves. The film is Japanese, but there’s a dubbed-in-English option, so kids won’t have to read subtitles.

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