tek's rating: ½

Big Fish & Begonia (PG-13)
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This is a Chinese film about a girl named Chun (Stephanie Sheh) who comes from a magical world beneath the ocean. She has the power to grow plants, as do her mother and grandfather. One day there's a rite of passage where anyone who has turned 16 in the past year transforms into red dolphins and visits the human world (though obviously they can't go on land). They're not supposed to have any contact with humans, just explore their world, to whatever degree that's actually possible in their dolphin forms. They get to stay there for seven days, until a portal in the form of a whirlpool closes. On Chun's seventh day, she plays with a human boy, who has no idea of her true nature. Later she gets stuck in a net, and the boy frees her, but dies in the process. After she gets back to her own world, Chun is desperate to return the boy to life, so she visits the soul keeper. She finds the boy's soul, which has become a tiny dolphin, and takes it home with her. She doesn't know the boy's name, so she names him Kun, which is a suggestion from her friend Qui (Johnny Yong Bosch; it sounded to me like Qui's name was pronounced "Cho"). He has the power to control water, like his grandmother, who had opened the portal to the human world. Qui is in love with Chun, though she seems unaware of that, and the feeling is unrequited. Despite his sadness about that, Qui helps take care of Kun, because he wants Chun to be happy. Anyway, Kun quickly grows, eventually becoming much larger than a real dolphin. Meanwhile, there is all sorts of strange weather going on in Chun's world, which is apparently caused by the presence of Kun, so all the people, including Chun's parents, want to kill him. But Chun and Qui protect him, ultimately trying to return him home to the human world.

A lot of other stuff happens that I don't want to spoil. And there's a mid-credits scene. And I don't know what else to say. I liked the animation a lot, and the characters were good, and the story was good, so I'm not sure why I felt vaguely disappointed by the movie. I just did. But only vaguely. Mostly I liked it, just not as much as I had hoped I would. But I'm still really glad to have seen it.

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