Masaaki Yuasa, director of one the century’s best animated films thus far, Mind Game (which recently enjoyed a theatrical re-release), is back this year with a new feature, Lu Over the Wall. Set to be released by GKIDS in May, they’ve now debuted a new trailer for the film which picked up the Grand Prize at the prestigious Annecy International Animation Festival.
We caught up with the film–which follows a mermaid who comes ashore and joins a family–at Sundance, where Dan Schindel said in his review that it “demonstrates everything that makes Yuasa one of the best contemporary anime filmmakers. It’s an energetic, frequently hilarious, always visually riveting ride. Featuring the voices of Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh, see the trailer below.
From visionary anime auteur Masaaki Yuasa, comes a joyously hallucinogenic but family-friendly take on the classic fairy tale about a little mermaid who comes ashore to join a middle-school rock band and propel them to fame. Kai is talented but adrift, spending his days sulking in a small fishing village after his family moves from Tokyo. His only joy is uploading songs he writes to the internet. When his classmates invite him to play keyboard in their band, their practice sessions bring an unexpected guest: Lu, a young mermaid whose fins turn to feet when she hears the beats, and whose singing causes humans to compulsively dance – whether they want to or not.
As Kai spends more time with Lu, he finds he is able to tell her what he is really thinking, and a bond begins to form. But since ancient times, the people in the village have believed that mermaids bring disaster and soon there is trouble between Lu and the townspeople, putting the town in grave danger. Winner of the Grand Prize at the prestigious Annecy Animation Festival, and premiering in English as an official selection of Sundance 2018, Lu Over the Wall is a toe-tapping, feel-good demonstration of Yuasa’s genre-mixing mastery that will leave you humming long after you leave the theater.
Lu Over the Wall opens on May 11.