(watch) This particular ad may have provided the seed for the movie.
A penetrating examination of the impact of the Vietnam war on American soldiers who returned home and were forced to face the demons of their wartime experience alone, to the anguish of their loved ones, who were reunited with their sons physically only to watch them slip away in spirit.
Would you believe this synopsis describes a film about cartoon penguins?
For such are the mysteries of Japanese animation, which in 1985 gave birth to the conundrum that is .
If you watched the film without understanding the dialogue, you could be forgiven for believing it to be a film for children. But beneath the cutesy penguins and the occasional random song and dance number lies a story that seems flagrantly inappropriate for a children's film.
is the film's obvious influence in many ways, not least the basic story about three buddies from small-town America who ship off to Vietnam, only one of whom returns with scars more emotional than physical.
(The Delta War in this movie is clearly a stand-in for the Vietnam War.) The protagonist is named Mike.He watches his buddy fall to his death after the two of them grabbed hold of the skids of a helicopter in the midst of battle.He returns home only to shy away from the unwelcome attention of his family.Many other parts of the script have obviously been created for the film, but clearly provided the skeleton and the spirit for the journey of this film's protagonist.At first it is quite confusing to watch the cartoon penguins and slowly realize that the story is in fact deadly serious in intent.It's a feeling remotely akin to that watching a film like the artistry is frankly not up to the level of the material.