This is the most incredible anime movie I have ever seen. The movie, originally a novel titled Ginga tetsudô no yoru came out in 1985, and is fairly difficult to find. It is almost 2 hours in length, and starts out rather slowly. The characters are mostly animals, cats seeming to be the predominant species.
Giovanni is a young cat who lives with his mother. His father left on a hunting expedition and hasn't returned, and there is much mystery surrounding his whereabouts. His mother is sick, and he must care for her, while also going to school and working part time at the printing press. He is unpopular at school, because he has little time to socialize, and the students tease him about his missing father. He has only one friend, Camponella, a pink rabbit who keeps to himself. The Festival of the Stars is being celebrated in town, and Giovanni is out fetching milk for his mother, when he comes across a train that travels through space. He boards the train and discovers his friend Camponella is also on board, and together they explore the wonders of the universe..
Night on the Galactic Railroad focuses on the theme of death and the afterlife. There is much christian imagery throughout the film. As the companions travel through the stars, they meet many interesting people, such as the swan catcher, or children who have died on the Titanic. The ending is very sad, and the whole experience will leave you thinking.