Napping Princess (also known as ‘Ancien and the Magic Tablet’) is the latest Japanese Anime feature length film to hit UK Cinemas and is the beautifully spellbinding story of Kokone Morikawa, a positively bubbly schoolgirl with an enchanting imagination. Kokone loves to sleep and when in a deep slumber she becomes Ancien, a confident princess who possesses a magical tablet and unlimited ambition. After her father is arrested, Kokone soon realises that there is more than meets the eye to her wild fantasy world as the lines between reality and dream soon begin to blur in her attempt to save him.

Director Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Eden of the East) has made the switch from Sci-Fi to Family Adventure as the story he tells through gorgeous hand drawn sequences and mesmerising music achieves a resonation with all ages on a deep emotional level. As with last year’s Your Name (Dir. Makoto Shinkai), this is truly a wonderful time to be an Anime fan and appreciator of stunningly animated films.

The level of detail to differentiate the real world, with clear blue skies and cityscapes, and the dream world, with misty clouds and twinkling stars, really adds a layer of character to the plot and world of Napping Princess. Kokone is impeccably brought to life through the masterful work of Mitsuki Takahata’s vocal performance. Even in times of struggle and hardship, she manages to bring to life Kokone’s undeniable confidence and charisma.

Napping PrincessThroughout this adventure, we are accompanied with the exquisite soundtrack developed by Yoko Shimomura (Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts). A blissful combination of whimsical, soft orchestral pieces during our dream sequences and an ambitious, triumphant brass band style score for key action sequences as we build up towards the finale of the adventure helps wrap up the film with a neat little bow. Even with all of this high praise, Napping Princess does briefly suffer with a slight stumble with a few sub plots that are left to be swept under the rug without a proper resolution. Though one might determine that as being left up to the imagination of the viewer.

With a unique blend of fantasy and adventure, Napping Princess is a wonderful addition to the ever expanding catalogue of Japanese Animated films to make their way over to western shores and will leave a beaming smile on your face and a warm, fuzzy feeling in your heart as its story of family relationships and bonds will resonate with all demographics.

Napping Princess comes to UK Cinemas for one day only on the 16th of August 2017.