Takashi Nakamura has worked for animators as diverse as Hayao Miyazaki (on Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds) and Katsuhiro Otomo (on Akira), but he credits Walt Disney's Pinocchio as the biggest inspiration for this ambitious 2001 anime. The robotic Palme, created to help his master's ailing wife but inert since her death, is reawakened by a ghostly warrior who sends him on a mission to the underworld. There are obvious sci-fi elements to this violent futuristic adventure, but Nakamura also evokes Japan's ancient animist myths; the hero journeys not only toward self-awareness but toward death and regeneration in a harsh natural world. In Japanese with subtitles. 136 min.