From Forum with No Name:
Sitting down to a three hour-plus Japanese film with a ten and six year old is actually not impossible, particularly when said film is directed by Akira Kurosawa.
They loved it, of course. They loved the introduction of Kambei (Takashi Shimura) shaving his head in preparation for his daring rescue of the child (this may have been the point where they really got hooked, I think); they loved the antics of Kikuchiyo (Toshiro Mifune, their hands-down favorite); they even loved Katsushiro (Isao Kimura) and his relative cluelessness.
They loved it that through maps, a quick reconaissance tour, and careful organization of shots (cut together so that the movement from one location to another or vice versa is always consistent) they come to know the layout of the entire village--the field of conflict, in effect. They loved it that the action sequences are clear and coherent (my six-year-old walked out of The Descent because, as he put it "they keep cutting and shaking the camera, and I'm getting dizzy"). They love it that Kurosawa as much as was possible didn't cheat--one bandit (as I pointed out) was really struck in the chest by an arrow (shot by an expert archer into a wooden plank the actor wore under his armor (Kurosawa wouldn't go so far as to actually kill his actors, I had to explain)); Kyuzo really swings his sword with masterful skill (a skill all the more impressive since (I pointed out to their amazement) before this film the actor, Seiji Miyaguchi, had never picked up a sword in his life).
It was a pleasure watching two kids experiencing the pleasure of watching a master filmmaker at his best. They laughed when he wanted them to laugh, oohed when he wanted them to ooh, sat sombre when he wanted to show them something sombre. When the movie was finished, they shook their heads; they couldn't believe they just saw a three-hour Japanese film.