Jellyfish Eyes

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami directed and provided the story for this children’s fantasy, which recalls Takashi Miike’s entries in the genre (Zebraman, The Great Yokai War) in its wacky, free-form invention. It takes place in a small town where all the kids have fantastic-looking pets that they command with electronic devices, unaware that the pets have been created by a sinister organization as part of a mind-control plot. The creatures—which range from a human-sized frog to a sprite with a big metal box for a head—provide a worthy showcase for Murakami’s prodigious visual imagination; not coincidentally, the principal theme is how imagination can play a constructive role in child development, as the kids learn to stop pitting the creatures against each other and use them collaboratively. In Japanese with subtitles.