When three outcasts living on the streets of Tokyo — washed-up boozer Gin (Emori), cross-dresser Hana (Umegaki), and teenage runaway Miyuki (Okamoto) — find a baby girl in a trash dumpster on Christmas Eve, they set out to find her parents. Following a series of clues, they travel from one urban locale to another, with serendipitous results.
Inspired in part by John Ford's western "Three Godfathers," Satoshi Kon's affecting anime homage presents Japan's bustling capital city as a hostile, unwelcoming place. Voiced by Emori, Umegaki, and Okamoto, his characters are endearing misfits on an odyssey of self-discovery through which we eventually learn each of their back stories. Equally tinged with hope and sadness, "Godfathers" boasts a vivid melange of colorful flourishes, too; first darkly imposing and then brilliant, reflecting the sentimental journey of its well-meaning protagonists. (Note: mature themes make this story about makeshift families not appropriate for younger viewers.)