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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

‘Okko’s Inn’: another chance to see anime on a big screen

It used to be that fans of Japanese anime had to wait for films to be released on video or DVD to see the latest — or even the classic — releases of their favorite films. Those days, we can safely say, have passed.

And not just because various streaming services offer animated films of all types to be seen at home.

Yet nothing beats seeing a film on a big screen. And in a way to get more full use out of their facilities, movie theaters across the nation have been doing more and more special screenings of all types of movie entertainment, from Christian-themed films and musicals to, yes, Japanese animation.

Which is why Spokane-area film fans will be able to see the film "Okko's Inn" at 7 p.m. in both subtitled and dubbed formats on Tuesday (subtitled) and Wednesday (dubbed) at the Regal Cinemas theater at Northtown Mall.

Based on a popular series of children's novels, which then became a television series, "Okko's Inn" was directed by former Studio Ghibli animator Kitarô Kôsaka. The film tells the story of a young girl, whose parents have died, who gains fame by running her own inn — with the help of some friendly but pesky ghosts.

As Pittsburgh Magazine film reviewer Sean Collier calls the film, "an undeniably moving and difficult tale" that "does not quite achieve the magic of the best Studio Ghibli masterpieces, but bears a similar easy — and very watchable — charm."