“The Boy and The Beast”: Troubled boy discovers beast mode in Japanese anime

boybeast

“The Boy & The Beast” opens Friday at Sundance Cinemas. PG-13, 1:59, three stars out of four.

The Japanese anime film “The Boy & The Beast” begins with a thunderous intro, as we see part-human/part-animal warriors battling for supremacy, their silhouettes wreathed in fire.

It may seem a strange intro for a movie that, at heart, is as much a tender drama about blended families as it is a martial arts saga. Writer-director Mamoru Hosoda (“Wolf Children,” “Summer Wars”) expertly blends emotion and action into a gorgeous and enchanting anime film aimed at older children and adults.

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