PAPRIKA (2006) blew my mind a bit. The idea of dreams and reality running together, LATHE OF HEAVEN style, is a scary, hallucinogenic concept that always rattles me. PAPRIKA featured "the dream" as a parade of figures, a veritable gang of archetypes, accompanied by this very WEIRD tambourine-ish music that I still associate with Hare Krishnas dancing in Central Park.
Very trippy and phantasmagorical, but alas, my problems with it were all too earthy. First, the hostility towards fat people was constant, and VICIOUS. It wasn't just a "You fat pig!" insult here and there, but FAT as a SIN, condemning one to everlasting torment. In this story, FAT is presented as an indictment of a fat scientist's soul, proof that he is weak, envious, venal and an inferior human being. Also, is it my imagination (haha) or did he look (and in the English version, sound) JEWISH? I have asked two other people who have seen it, neither Jewish, who agreed. One said it was very obvious.
Other offensiveness was racist and ableist. One of the bad guys is in a motorized wheelchair, and even though dreams totally take over reality and start thoroughly messing with everyone else, he is still an angry gimp (although the fat scientist gets to morph into a giant robot). He curses his legs and awful physical body repeatedly, and finally (SPOILERS APPROACHETH!) undergoes metamorphosis into some kinda anime-superman rising above mere humans into the stratosphere, taking revenge on the world! Trite, formulaic, stereotypical, stupid.
And hey, did I tellya the disabled villain is a pasty-faced white guy when he is in the wheelchair, but morphs into a huge, muscular, dangerous, violent, able-bodied BLACK man when taking his revenge on the world? No, not kidding.
So, we have the usual list of positives for anime: creativity, fun, great ideas, highly imaginative flights-of-fancy, totally bang-up animation, positive images for women and youth, etc. And then we have these major negatives. Sigh. (And yes, the fact that it has won all these awards just upsets me more.)
I thought about lending this DVD to a friend's young daughter, and then thought the better of it. Nope, I don't think I will.