Christmas Countdown: Tokyo Godfathers

I’m not doing a complete holiday list this year — but you can still look at last years’ (links may not be current, though). Instead, from now until Christmas, I’m going to highlight some of my favorite Christmas and holiday specials/episodes/movies.

Tokyo Godfathers (2003) is a reimagining of The Three Godfathers (the novel & subsequent film adaptations) by the late director Satoshi Kon and co-scriptwriter Keiko Nobumoto. It follows three homeless people — Hana, a transgender woman; teen runaway Miyuki, and the middle-aged alcoholic Gin — who form a vague family. They happen to find a baby they name Kiyoko. They spend the rest of Christmas Eve trying to reunite Kiyoko with her mother and in the process, they reconnect with their pasts.

It is incredibly funny and sweet. It has a playful magical realism and the animation is lovely. Could this have been live-action? Maybe. But I think it would’ve lost most of its power.

This has become a Christmas classic for me and it surprises me every time.

Tokyo Godfathers is available for purchase or rent on most major services, as well as on DVD or Bluray.