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Imaginary Netflix (1)a

The Imaginary Review: A Fun Journey Through the Power of Imagination

Netflix’s new animated film, “The Imaginary,” brings a fresh and creative story to the screen. Directed by Yoshiyuki Momose, known for his work on “Spirited Away,” the film tells the tale of Amanda and her imaginary friend, Rudger. What starts as a typical story about a child and their imaginary friend quickly shifts perspective, diving into the life and experiences of the imaginary friend, Rudger.

A Refreshing Plot

Imaginary Netflix (1)a

THE IMAGINARY – Studio Ponoc’s The Imaginary will premiere on Netflix later this year. Cr: Netflix © 2023 Ponoc

The plot of “Imaginary” is refreshing and engaging. Instead of focusing solely on the child, it gives us a unique view from the imaginary friend’s side. This different approach adds depth to the story and makes it more interesting. The world-building in this film is exceptional. The animation is stunning, making it feel like imagination itself is coming to life on the screen. The imaginary friends have their own set of rules and existences, adding an intriguing layer to the narrative. The film effectively explores the relationship between imaginary friends and real people, highlighting the emotional connections and reasons behind their creation.

Emotional Connections

Imaginary Netflix (1)a


One of the standout aspects of “Imaginary” is how it handles emotional connections. The film does a great job showing the aftermath of relationships between real people and their imaginary friends, even after they have ended. This portrayal is touching and adds an emotional depth that resonates with viewers. The inclusion of an antagonist in the story also caught my attention. The film subverts expectations by introducing a darker twist, with the villain being creepy and well-executed within the context of the story.

The themes in “The Imaginary” are strong and well-presented. Friendship and loss are central themes, depicted through the imagination of the children and their imaginary friends. The film delves into the reasons behind the creation of imaginary friends, tying this concept to their purpose and exploring it in a meaningful way.

Scary Images and Violence

Imaginary Netflix (1)a

THE IMAGINARY – Studio Ponoc’s The Imaginary will premiere on Netflix later this year. Cr: Netflix © 2024 Ponoc

However, it’s important to note that “The Imaginary” contains some scary images and violence. One imaginary friend resembles a famous female villain from a Japanese horror movie, and there are dramatic moments that might be hard for very young audiences to watch. Parental guidance is definitely advised.

The final act of the film, while enjoyable, did present some issues. The subversion with the villain was interesting, but the lines between reality and imagination became blurred, especially in the hospital scene. This part of the film missed an opportunity to maintain a level of ambiguity that had been established earlier.

The Imaginary Trailer:

Overall, “The Imaginary” is a delightful, creative, and thought-provoking animated film. It effectively hits emotional beats and features visually intriguing action sequences. This film has the potential to be considered for awards and is definitely worth watching on Netflix. Despite its kid-friendly appearance, it tackles heavy themes that require parental guidance. Nevertheless, “The Imaginary” is a film that shouldn’t be missed.


Imaginary Netflix (1)a

Director: Yoshiyuki Momose
Writer(s): Yoshiyuki Momose
Stars: Hayley Atwell, Louie Rudge-Buchanan, LeVar Burton, Jane Singer, Roger Craig Smith, Courtenay Taylor, Ruby Barnhill,  Sky Katz, Miles Nibb, Evie Kiszel, Kal Penn, Jeremy Swift
The Imaginary comes to Netflix July 5,  2024.
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The Imaginary Review: A Fun Journey Through the Power of Imagination
  • Acting - 7/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 8/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 8/10
  • Setting/Theme - 9/10
  • Watchability - 8/10
  • Rewatchability - 8/10
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