I have to say, early on in this film I was somewhat dubious about it; it initially appears an uneasy mix of slapstick, melodrama, and traditional Japanese fairytale elements (animated umbrellas, for instance). But it soon settles down into a wild, comic romp reminiscent of the old Monkey tv series, except with much better effects. This movie throws everything into the cooking pot - comedy, fantasy, thriller, family drama, music and martial arts action - and brews up a seriously entertaining result. It had me laughing and even on the edge of tears at one point. Perhaps if I were familiar with the original inspiration, I might have been disappointed, but as I knew nothing of it before this movie, I enjoyed it immensely. If there's one thing I can fault it's that the copy I had did not have an option to view dubbed - some children might not appreciate having to read so many subtitles. And this film will seriously appeal to children, even if the bizarre yokai spirits are startling to a western audience. Jolly good fun.