English: Spirited Away
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 20, 2001
Duration: 2 hr. 5 min.
Rating: G - All AgesL represents licensing company
Score: 8.921 (scored by 219677 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsadventure drama fantasy ghibli supernatural
Apr 21, 2015
“Nothing that happens is ever forgotten, even if you can't remember it.”
Spirited Away is a massive cauldron brimming with creativity, its boiling contents enthusiastically leaping and skipping out of its overflowing container throughout the length of its 2 hour journey. It isn't here to answer questions: we may be left in wonder as to how aspects of this beautiful, fleshed-out world function, but it's best to simply sit back and enjoy the fantastical sights. Chihiro's departure to an alien world, swathed with shape-shifting witches, faceless phantoms, radish spirits and harmonized talking heads is akin to a magician with an endless torrent of tricks hidden beneath his dark cloak. Yet, we may watch with fear of being disillusioned, in case the cards begin tumbling out of this magician's sleeves. But Spirited Away needs no such gimmick, for it is a spectacle which never fails to be spectacular. Like the one-way train in its world which trails a mysterious path on platforms both solid and liquid, Spirited Away proceeds at a consistent pace, as a rapid stream full of unique creatures and exquisite landscapes, propelling forward before we're able to stop and smell the roses. Unlike the train's linear journey however, Spirited Away isn't merely bridging the gap between stops - the entire adventure feels like a sinuous, yet seamless wave, flowing as gracefully as the dragons which roam its skies and the water which surrounds its lands.
Through this vicarious journey, Spirited Away weaves a rich tapestry of assorted themes. Spun beneath its light-hearted façade are haunting messages speaking volumes about identity and growth, the dichotomy of good and evil, and other connotations which linger subtly in the movie’s duration, but become ever prominent upon reflection. The reminiscence of Chihiro’s coming-of-age adventure never fails to summon up the deep-rooted fragments which echo within my memories, bittersweet shards of childhood innocence which have been all but forgotten.
All the while we are guided by the trembling, uncertain hands of 10-year-old Chihiro as she paves her way through a world which is as mystifying to her innocent eyes as it is to ours. Whereas character development is often neglected in movies due to their relatively brief duration, I couldn't help but resonate with the fragile heart of our protagonist as I bore witness to her subtle growth from a pessimistic child with no desire for change to one headstrong, responsible, and competent. However, the other members of the large cast, while entertaining in their own right, remain largely static. Yet, by no means are the supporting characters a detriment to the film, for they play pivotal roles not only in progressing the plot, but also in Chihiro’s rise to maturity. There are no clear-cut villains among Spirited Away’s cast, either – every character resides in an area of grey, and even the most troublesome are largely redeemed by the film’s climax. And while Chihiro's bonds with others may proceed in a fairly simple and predictable manner, Studio Ghibli has long proven its mastery in this regard - giving form to straightforward character bonds which are nonetheless both delicate and heartwarming in their conclusion.
Furthermore, this cauldron's contents of endless spectacles are topped with impeccable production values. Spirited Away simply effervesces with magical vigor. Character designs for humans, spirits, witches, and everything in between are imaginative and detailed, their movements as smooth as silk. The entire film seems to be dappled with vibrant shades of countless hues, and the sharp drawings and radiant lights make way for many exquisite landscapes. Joe Hisaishi's melodious soundtrack fluctuates between prominent, uplifting pieces which dominate the screen to serene, subtle tracks which seep into the background - but the soundtrack never ceases to harmonize as well as stun. It is difficult to pick apart individual aspects of Spirited Away's presentation, for they complimented each other so well that the entire journey felt like a seamless amalgamation rather than a sum of parts.
Perhaps my earlier analogy comparing Spirited Away to an infallible magician is flawed. After all, I certainly feared being disillusioned as its credits were creeping ever closer; my heart felt as if it were withering away, for I was a willing hypnotic to this magician's spellbinding journey. It wasn't that Spirited Away had failed to deliver; it had simply left the stage, leaving in its wake a dark, insatiable void; the curtains were closing, the show was over. Yet as its bursting fountains of love and magic began to trickle away into its heartrending ending piece, "Always With Me", I realized that such an experience doesn't simply disappear. For two hours, Spirited Away rendered an alternate reality which I was hesitant to leave; the ephemeral journey had come to an end and the banality of my world began to seep into my senses once more. But after gazing back, like Chihiro, into the long, dark tunnel which led into a new world, I thought, with renewed hope, that I carried with me fragments of a world never to be imitated, fragments which - even if I failed to remember, wouldn't ever be forgotten.
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Note: This review has been edited by Ezmira (aka DystopianLove) on MAL. If you like this review, you like her. If you don't like this review... well, I wouldn't blame her. read more
Jan 11, 2011
I am going to talk about Spirited Away (yeah, obvious). It's been quite a long time since I watched it for the last time, more than a year in fact; but I became a really fascinating and influential piece for me at that time, far enough to define my current love for Miyazaki's works, the Studio Ghibli and animation in general as an art and a strong way of expression. Today it's still one of my favorite animated features of any sort, and not because of its lack of flaws than its amazing blend of concepts.
The first thing that appeals the audience in this movie is its art and animation. I, as unexperienced and poor in technical knowledge about the subject, think it's utter fascinating, it manages to create a whole world out of nothing, and the use of lights and shades, the forms and colours make the overall experience a visual joy. And in addition to that I find the characters' gestures and movements extremely plastic and realistic, some other scenes have been mentioned in that aspect by other reviewers but I was particularly fond of that one where Chihiro is walking with her parents and she gradually moves away, only to come back to her position with a little run-up. These things don't happen, usually, in animation. In so far as they are unnecessary, easily ignorable and feel like a waste of resources, we hardly see characters making these little movements which in the end result in nothing relevant. Ghibli, however, animates them, and does it with such a mastery, a love for detail and a goddamn naturalism that I can't help but feel amazed.
As if the visual aspect wasn't good enough, the movie is also a pleasure for our ears and has what I consider the best track of my heavily worshipped Joe Hisaishi, one of the best (if not the best) film composers I have ever heard. Spirited Away is exceptionally good at that aspect; I'd say it's one of the very few cases in which there is, at some scenes, such a strong fusion between story and music, that I can't conceive nor think of one without the other.
But despite all of these beautiful qualities about its setting, the real substance of this movie is at its story. I apologize in advance, again, because as I'm going to develop some points I will give some free spoilers. If you haven't seen the movie I'd recommend to stop reading at this point.
It has been said many times by critics that Spirited Away felt like a senseless blend of magic elements, just a simple story filled with many things the author introduced undiscriminatingly to drag out the experience. Well, I have a quite different point of view for that device. I just can't conceive that the animation, for example, is taken to such a high level of detail and, on the other hand, that doesn't happen with the story. And by rewatching it repeatedly in a short amount of time (once every two months, more or less), I began to develop some theories about the nature of the world that is depicted here.
What must be considered at first is that all this magical world, with strange creatures and spells, is just an allegory for the always difficult transiton between childhood and the first steps of adulthood. It's the age you start dealing with responsibility, when you realize your acts have consequences and you have to make decisions that will affect your future; you define yourself and the course of your life. Miyazaki puts these simple concepts by transforming the need of finding an identity into a way to escape the wonderful yet cruel world where Chihiro is suddenly trapped. Its hostility imitates quite well the drama of the process, as it reinforces the need of an additional effort every one of us have to make at some point and reset our lives and our positions.
Does this mean that Yubaba's world is an undeveloped blend of magic, hostile things that only serve as a situation that Chihiro has to overcome at some point? Well, I don't think so, as it seems to have a clear structure and hierarchy. One of the stories I see compared more often with this one is Alice in Wonderland. However, I would define that as a blend of unrelated events, a story whose main charm lies in its anarchic, nearly nightmarish, narrative. Spirited Away is not like that in any way. In fact I think there is an effort to transmit a strong sense of logic throughout, it tries to delimit the causes and consequences of every single case.
The key character to understand how Yubaba's tyranny works is, in my opinion, Lin. She just happens to be the link between Chihiro and the rest of the magical creatures, just like somebody that is in some sort of intermediate level. Her physical appearance looks slightly transformed, but not as much as the rest. She is aware of the existence of another world outside of that one, the importance of remembering her name, her "identity"; and knowing that, she helps Chihiro and takes the role of a mother. I have the theory that every one of the creatures that live in Yubaba's world were once human, maybe little boys and girls like Chihiro who couldn't find the way to escape, or other people; and they ended up forgetting who they were, losing their "humanity" and becoming mere pieces of this world. Lin is a special case because it seems she's not lost her identity yet, at least not at all, but forgot at one point her name, the key to come back home, and knows her situation is irreversible. She maybe observed this in some of her companions when she arrived, and Chihiro reminds herself of that. Maybe because of that, because she knows and appreciates what she's doomed to lose, she decides to help her in an altruistic way.
And what about Kamaji? Another key character in Chihiro's development in there; he seems to be quite aware of his situation too. I'd say he is a bit like the "sacrificed" individual, who Yubaba used to start his project and maybe the only one that didn't lose his identity at all. He's a slave in this world, he knows it but can't help it.
So yes, I have a more "adult" and crude view of the overall concept. This definition of the magical public baths as a place were people are doomed to end up losing what makes them "special" is quite harsh and melancholic for a -as targeted and admitted by Miyazaki- kid's movie, and it might feel even weird, but that's how I interpreted it and I think it makes some sense.
Does this mean Yubaba is a villain? Well, define villain. Somebody whose only objective in life is to harm people? That's hardly what Yubaba is. She, for better or for worse, created a world, and made it work. She imposed some rules. We could even say she created her own utopia (and that doesn't mean she is naturally "bad"), why not? And, most important, she has a strong sense of honor, she dictates and also OBEYS her rules. One of the (maybe) main reasons why she loses her battle against Chihiro, in fact, is that her weakness is shown eventually (giant baby); and reveals a hypocritical attitude, as she is protecting her lovely child from any influence while she's always preaching the exact contrary. As she knows it, it's a shameful thing to admit and maybe here is where her image of forcefulness starts to teeter.
All in all, these examples just show that the real strength of this story lies in the characters, as they are always depicted in a detailed way. Yubaba not being the typical villain, or not even being a "villain" at all; Haku, the hero and the "positive" one here has also an overambitious side and is for the most part guilty of his situation... and Chihiro, of course. She is a spoiled brat who learns to appreciate some things, but in no way overreacting at these points, as she sounds real and relatable at every damn scene. It's quite easy to understand her, she's not made to be likeable but her portrayal is solid enough to make us join her development through the story.
I could spend hours and hours talking about this precious anime and its many details, the enigmatic role of No Face, the negative influence of the parents in Chihiro's behaviour, and so much more... I love it. It breathes mastery at (almost) every one of its points, and I can enjoy it in many levels. My only grip would be the way things are resolved, which I have always found too rushed; reading Miyazaki's opinion on that ending I've come to understand the intention behind, but still I'd say the metaphor is made too subtle for the audience, and maybe the execution is also somewhat clumsy. But aside from this minor flaw, I can't help but admire this fascinating, eye-captivating piece of art, my second favorite anime behind Grave Of The Fireflies. read more
Dec 11, 2008
Still, I watched it again and, for some reason, I got it the second time around. Spirited Away isn't meant to be anything grand, with all the bells and whistles. It has a quiet, subdued way of telling a simple story about a simple girl in a very strange world. Instead of expecting something huge, just sit back, watch, and appreciate the world and story Miyazaki has finely crafted for us all to enjoy.
To get to the technical aspects...
The art is, of course, amazing. The colours are rich and the animation is fluid. When Chihiro and her family first walk into the spirit world, you can practically feel the breeze as you watch it whisk through the grass. The lights of the spirit world at night are breathtaking. And watching the train ride closer to the end of the movie, coupled with the amazing music score (the track is called "The Sixth Station"), remains one of my most favourite animation sequences out of anything I've seen. Which brings me to another point: the music.
I will get this out of the way first - Joe Hisaishi is one of my favourite composers. His music style is very simple, but he makes every note count. Most of his music is quite subdued in nature and takes a careful ear to notice when your eyes are being captivated by what's going on in the screen, but do take notice if you have the chance. Or search on YouTube for videos of his live performances. His music is a joy to listen to. Like with Spirited Away, Hisaishi's music lacks all the "bells and whistles" per se, but it's beauty lies in its simplicity. Hisaishi has not failed here in Spirited Away.
I dearly loved the characters. One of the best parts of this movie, for me, was that it lacked any clear good or evil characters. Everyone has a bit of both, though perhaps some allow the evil sides of them to come out a bit more obviously than others. In this way, it's very realistic. Granted, the characters were all quite predictable and Chihiro grated on my nerves at times, but overall, I enjoyed each and every one of the characters Miyazaki has create here.
Overall, Spirited Away is one of my favourite movies and will always be a treasured item in my small DVD collection. It requires some patience to get through since it's not packed with action or drama, but it's a nice fairy tale to watch and enjoy. read more
Nov 15, 2013
Miyazaki isn’t a stranger to making movies about childhood and things similar of its nature; Totoro would be an obvious example to this fact. He certainly has an eye of making these kinds of stories that could be reflected to everyday childhood experiences that we have since grown out of and are now living in a realist way of life. The fantasy elements that are a constant staple to the Miyazaki lore is what has made most of his movies so special to a lot of people, including myself, because of their originality and inventive folklore. Now, that isn’t to say that I’m the biggest Miyazaki fan as much as the next person. However if there is one film that could never lose its imaginative and beautiful vision in his filmography with each passing viewing, Spirited Away would win at no contest.
In describing what kind of story Spirited Away follows, coming-of-age would be the most logical way of putting it. In that, we follow with our main protagonist Chihiro and how she handles certain situations that would prove to be difficult for any other young person such as herself. When she first encounters this Spirit World she is lost, hopeless, and confused. Not knowing what is going to happen to her or her parents, after they’ve been turned to pigs, she finally finds help with other characters that are willing to help her be acquainted with this world that is unlike her own. Once she is acquainted with the Spirit world, we now see her as a strong individual once she is more aware of her surroundings and is able to take care of herself without the help of Haku. It is by the end of the film the most essential point to what makes not only Chihiro a wonderful character but also how Spirited Away paces its story structure.
Art and animation are nothing but superb in Studio Ghibli’s legacy in how they incorporate more emphasis on impressionist inspired backgrounds with traditional hand-drawn animation. The scope of Miyazaki’s artistic vision is vast and organic in each of his films that some other Ghibli films sometimes lack in minimal detail. Spirited Away may not have the biggest scope in terms of scale such as his previous films such as Nausicaä or even Princess Mononoke, but I would argue the minimal scope works magnificently with the show’s structure. From the wonderfully drawn buildings to the tiniest detail of rust and wood splinters to the hypnotic waters that surround the spirit world, it complements extremely well with Miyazaki’s ascetic vision and Ghibli’s artistic talents.
With regards to Art, the one aspect of it that Spirited Away shines the most is its creative art designs of the characters of each spirit you come across. Every single one of them looks absolutely original and not thought of from previous animation, despite most of them obviously inspired by Japanese folklore. It’s not as if most of them are forgettable the minute after you see them. They all stick with you as you go along with the film and even years after you’ll finish it from how memorable and imaginative all of them are from the amazing art designs.
To describe how the character Chihiro is treated, as in how she is portrayed in the film in her own personality, would come to the conclusion that Miyazaki approached her in a realistic fashion. You’ve often seen kids before that behave like Chihiro, or you may have been like her in her age, and that behavior would be considered “bratty” or “immature.” But these shouldn’t be seen as negatives since realistically that’s what kids are at her age, as you see Chihiro before she goes to the spirit world. We see Chihiro go through hardship when she arrives through the spirit world and then we have this sense of hoping for her to succeed due to bravery and strong courage to help her parents. It gives her a sense of humanity that could make you feel so much empathy for her as not only just some drawing in motion, but as a human being in the flesh in some ways.
Other characters such as Kamajii, Lin, Kaonishi, and Yubaba fill in the cast quite nicely. Kamajii and Lin filling in as nice slight comic relief character give Spirited Away a nice needed level of charm from the voice acting and dialogue. Yubaba at first does seem like the villain of the movie but from how you see around it, there really isn’t a villain in this movie. She’s nothing more than just a woman who just wants to run her bathhouse in a very authoritative way that has no ambition to do anything evil in nature. Kaonishi, the spirit that follows Chihiro in the bathhouse, gives the film a vulnerable side to it from his troubles of being alone, all through no dialogue at all, at least from his own voice so to speak.
Now we come to music. Composed by Joe Hisaishi, who has been Miyazaki’s main collaborated in almost all of his films as composer, it is pure excellence in Hisaishi’s backlog. This shouldn’t really be surprising considering how so well he composes his scores. From listening to his songs on how they interact not only with what is going on currently in the film but also how it leads the story from each scene to another just from how Hisaishi makes the songs so vibrant and adds a whole new way of looking at the films he scores. I guarantee that there is not one person in the world with a clear conscience to listen to “One Summer’s Day” and not burst into tears.
It is with utmost sincerity that Spirited Away is Hayao Miyazaki’s magnum opus. Though many will claim this to be his most “accessible” film in his filmography, especially the Miyazaki “purists”, it is, for me, the film with the most heart out of the rest. It’s the type of film that almost hurts to love, in that you feel so vulnerable watching this yet you feel a sense of awe because of how your absolutely mesmerized by how much sublime creativity was put into making Spirited Away. From all of its likeable characters, its brilliant pacing, its memorable score, and great coming of age story, from what little minimal flaws there are to be found in the film, it is all worth while to take in what is grandeur and admire it wholeheartedly. Just as with its atmosphere, nostalgia plays a part in how special Spirited Away is. Not nostalgia in the sense of how you were a kid when you first see it, but from how it invokes nostalgia from the film’s ambiance itself of showcasing childhood curiosity and adventure. Something of which more kids films really need to learn from in future generations.
Nov 27, 2014
The story of Spirited Away doesn't exactly seem all that children-like, because of it's mysterious and somewhat complex plot. It's about a 10-year old girl and her journey into a supernatural world filled with spirits --> witches, ghosts, divine deities, a human-spirit-dragon and more, in order to rescue her parents who have been turned into pigs. Throughout her "Alice in Wonderland" - like adventure, she has to find her identity, remember her name, remain her purity/innocence while all the meanwhile remembering what it means to be a human being/a child. Unlike most anime directors or any filmmakers for that matter, Miyazaki doesn't conceal the nightmares/terrors of childhood, which actually yield their own disquieting beauty. He respects the deep silences of his story, as well as its cacophonies. Very young children are apt to be frightened by this film but still enjoy the film if watching with a parent/older figure, proof being myself. But as children grow older and re-watch Spirited Away, they'll come to appreciate it's stunning beauty in story, art and sound.
What Spirited Away does with it's characters is truly magical. Unlike most anime, Spirited Away successfully portrays it’s characters in a more personal and intimate way. Obviously Anime characters often come off more like set pieces in a story than real, breathing people who control their own lives. But in Spirited Away, for all it’s insanity and typically over the top anime mysticism, the characters are surprisingly quietly intimate. This allows the audience to connect with, sympathize with and actually care to watch for Chichiro. But there are other characters too of some whom are symbolic characters and serve to teach the audience a lesson, of others who are there for kid's enjoyment - comedy, and others who develop into an important piece of the plot; everyone has some kind of important role to look out for. With all these positives said, there wasn't really a character I really loved, but the development of Chichiro really made her a special character.
Honestly, the story is great and the characters were animated/imaginative, not-realistic creations of truly "realistic" beings. But for Miyazaki's films, what can be said more than the animations and in my opinion, the greatest soundtracks in any films ever. Spirited Away's animation was nothing short of masterful; High quality doesn't begin to describe how simply stunning Spirited Away's art is. The setting of Spirited Away has a very traditional Japanese feel to it while mixing in elements of modernity as well. The animations gives the audience a sense of fresh realism in a fantasy world. And the music. Oh my the music. Joe Hisaishi, you are the greatest movie-soundtrack composer ever and without having to say, my personal favorite movie-soundtrack composer. One Summer's Day? Always With You? Sixth Shop? Dragon Boy? Your great music knows no limit. For those of you who have seen Spirited Away know what I'm talking about, and for those of you who don't... Well then go to YouTube and listen to the pieces I just mentioned. The music definitely enhances the emotions felt from each scene, and makes the movie an all the more memorable experience/memory. The voice acting added a sense of realism into characters, especially Chichiro who genuinely sounded like a fightened 10 year old child. The beauty of the sounds in Spirited Away cannot be described in words.
If you want to purely enjoy this movie and/or haven't seen the movie yet, then I recommend you skip these upcoming paragraph and skip just to the very last paragraph. because I will be analyzing the whole load of themes and symbols in Spirited Away, which is truly a childrens movie, while not actually being purely a childrens movie. There are just so many themes in Spirited Away beyong the surface of a magical masterpiece.
1. Chichiro aka Sen was stripped of her name. But what does a name really mean though, it's just a 2-couple of words assigned to you at birth right? You can just change it too right? Well, in Spirited Away, the character's names are their quest for freedom. Sen Chichiro must remember the qualities that make her who she is and remain true to them despite her name, the one word that defines her as herself, has changed. In Spirited Away, names are of fundamental importance in the spirit world, and those in power keep their control by stealing and changing names. Only those characters with the inner strength to hold onto their names and identities can free themselves.
2. What defines a person as good or evil? In Spirited Away, every character morally ambiguous; they're a mix of good and bad qualities and actions.Those who seem good at first, such as Haku and No-Face, have their share of evil qualities, and those who seem bad in the beginning, such as Zeniba, and Lin, show signs of good in Chihiro’s escape to freedom. Chihiro herself is pretty unpleasant at first until later when she reveals her better nature only after she becomes Sen. Spirited Away’s blurred line between good and evil is a much more accurate reflection of the real world outside the film. In the end, evil is not vanquished but pushed aside as characters make choices that weaken bad influences. Sen’s acts of goodness bring out the latent good in those she encounters; just like real life right?
3. Growing Up, and entering the world of adulthood. What does it mean to be a child? What separates a child from a teen from an adult? The shock of entering the working world is a theme rarely dealt with at this age level, which gives Spirited Away a mark of distinction. At the beginning of the movie, Chichiro is just sitting in the backseat doing nothing while her parents drive, and she just follows other spirits instructions. But as the story progresses, she starts to make decisions for herself and instead of idly doing nothing, she has to enter the working field and work diligently. Though hard work is not the only element of the spirit world that transforms Sen into a stronger, more capable person, it certainly helps her learn to deal with problems maturely.
4. Human Nature's greed. At the beginning of the film greed is on full display as Chihiro whines and complains to her parents (children's greed for attention) meanwhile, Chihiro’s parents’ greed leads them to eat a whole ton of (unpaid) food that eventually turns them into pigs. Literally every character in Spirited Away is greedy from a small scale to a large scale; Haku being the "good-guy" character and all is greedy for power to match Yubabu, the evil witch's power, and Yubabu is so greedy for total control of the spirit realm and gold/gold/gold, eventually leads to the destruction and chaos in the story. She even loses what she covets most as retribution for her greed. In every case, greed makes characters oblivious to what is truly important, preventing them from reaching their full potential as people and spirits. This is a reflection of human society no?
5. Life and Death. Water represents entrapment and freedom; life and death. Chihiro's realizarion that the previously dry ground is now a huge body of water of which she cannot cross. Reflection that you can't run away from fate- Life and Death. In order to survive in the spirit world, Sen works at the bathhouse, which depends on water for its livelihood. In the course of Sen’s work, she rescues a polluted river spirit by pouring liberal amounts of water over him - life. Sen nearly drowns in the process, but the spirit places her in a protective bubble that keeps her from harm, and this and other acts of kindness play a role in her liberation. But beyond just the use of water, the constant struggle between living and dying - and what it means to be alive (a magical thing) and what it means to be dead (who knows what this means) is on full display.
This movie is truly wild runs of children's imagination/fantasies all put into one film; I personally believe after watching nearly all of Miyazaki/Studio Ghibili's films, Spirited Away was the single mof innovative and imaginative story by far. Growing up is a beautiful thing, and this movie is a pretty personal movie to me. My entire analysis of all Story, Art, Sound, and Character for Spirited Away can be summed up in entirely one word: "Beautiful~" And this movie, as a child, as a teen and now as an adult never ceases to remain as one of the most enjoyable movies ever. read more
Mar 13, 2015
This girl provided the inspiration for Chihiro, the little heroine at the centre of Spirited Away, a film aimed at ten-year old girls but universal enough in its appeal to break every box office record on its home turf, going on to not only become the highest grossing film of all time in Japan, but attaining that status in record time at its release time.
The first thing that one has to discuss in analyzing an animated feature is the quality of the art work. Spirited Away uses color, light and even CGI to add to the experience of a superbly drawn movie. The animation is smooth, crisp, vibrantly colored, and the CGI effects are jaw-droppingly beautiful. The use of color in this film is so important not just because it makes everything look alive, but the bright vivid colors control the mood of every scene – just think of the warm glow and the accompanying feelings associated with the boiler room.
The main reason that animation can be so much more than just “plot” is the director’s ability to control every aspect of his vision, frame by frame. Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away is the one of the current reigning champion of hand drawn beauty transcribed into film, and being the writer, director and concept artist gave him complete power over his work of art. The official English title is Spirited Away, but the original is Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi. The title literally means The Spiriting Away of Sen and Chihiro, but the differences between the English and Japanese versions do not stop there. The Disneyfied version tries to spell out a lot more for the audience than the Japanese version, as Western movie goers are less enthusiastic about thinking about their entertainment. Unfortunately, Disney might find that their spell-checker is broken. The multiple meanings, clever puns and some of the more symbolic Japanese Kanji (Chinese writing system) will be lost on the English dubbed viewer. However, far worse translations have been done, and in all fairness to Disney, this must have been a monumental task.
Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli have created a modern masterpiece of animation in Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, which has gone on to be the first so-called “anime” movie to reach such critical acclaim, being awarded the Golden Bear award at the Berlin International Film Festival for best picture and the 2002 Academy award for best Animated Feature. Spirited Away has opened the door for many distributors to begin offering Japanese animated films to mainstream theaters.
The music efficiently captures the complex mood and is truly beautiful, eerie and graceful, especially the piano's light ethereal notes.Joe Hishashi who has collaborated with Miyazaki in almost all his films,works his magic yet again.It suits the vibrancy of the film and truly contributes to the film on it's own."One's Summer Day" stands out for me personally.
Our heroine Chihiro is the most unappealing girl among female protagonists created by Miyazaki (except perhaps Mei in Totoro). But Chihiro is intentionally set up this way. Miyazaki created her to represent the way that he views modern children growing up in the world, spoiled and overly protected. This is the story about a girl who stepped into another real world where both good and evil exist. She will go through many experiences, learn how important friendship and dedication are, and return to the human world with her wisdom. The result is a moving and magical journey, told with consummate skill by one of the masters of contemporary animation.
The incredibly fantastic nature of Miyazaki’s masterpiece is a product of his incandescent creativity. It is filled with dozens of gods, spirits, demons, witches and a few things that defied explanation. From the Radish spirit, to Kamaji the six armed boiler operator, to the three disembodied bouncing heads, to Haku the dragon river-god, all of Spirited Away’s characters are unique and memorable. With limbs impossibly stretching, dragons dropping out of the sky, characters transforming into animals, gods bathing, frogs talking and soot-balls turning into insect-like workers ready to feed the boilers, this film visually drags you in to every scene and completely captivates your eyes and imagination.
Spirited Away celebrates basic and simple human virtues, which the more cynical among us may dismiss as obvious. But as with all things that are basic and seem obvious, there is a real danger in overlooking them and this is exactly where Miyazaki cautions us. Those who scoff at the outside world might well find that the solution to their problems lies inside themselves.
Spirited Away is intensely symbolic. Every scene is stuffed full with Japanese Kanji, many of which have multiple meanings, even in the context in which they are presented. For example, the train that runs through the spirit world has the characters for Middle Path written on the front, alluding to the Buddhist of the four noble truths. Chihiro literary means “one thousand fathoms” (under the sea) and Sen, her new name mean “one thousand.” These games that Miyazaki plays with his audience are slightly lost on mainstream Western audiences, but can account to the unparalleled success that his movies have in Japan.
There are too many themes in the movie to list, but the major motifs are inner strength and the dichotomy between nature and the industrial world. Chihiro, starting out as a spoiled, clumsy and frightened ten year old, emerges from her experience as a strong, confident, clever and loving young hero. Her transformation is largely due to the fact that she has been taken out of her modern existence and transplanted into a spiritual world, filled with traditional views, responsibilities, stories and even traditional Japanese characters.
The seconded major theme in the film is the battle between nature and the modern world. This is a major theme running throughout all of Miyazaki’s works, especially pervasive in Princess Mononoke. Spirited Away shows how team work is essential in cleaning up nature, when the river-god is mistaken for a stink demon, and Chihiro frees him by removing all the pollution from inside the unhappy spirit. But more than the obvious metaphors, Miyazaki draws us into the natural world with his stunning visuals and panoramas of the natural world around his characters.
Miyazaki's luminescent, gorgeously realized world is relatively safe for children (good beats out evil and love conquers all, though it's more important that honesty, courage, and personal integrity are always eventually rewarded), but it also acknowledges blood, pain, dread, and death in ways that other animated films wouldn't dare. Spirited Away is nowhere near as grim and despairing as Princess Mononoke, but neither does it take place in the effervescent, sunny worlds of Miyazaki classics like My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service, where there are no bad guys, only bad moments. It occupies a more adult place, where life lessons are frightening and hard-won. But it implies—with passion, humor, heartbreakingly lovely animation, and no preaching—that the hurdles make those lessons all the more worth learning. read more
Jan 23, 2008
Visually, I believe this is Hayao Miyazaki's best film. Everything is a joy to look at. The soundtrack of Spirited Away is one of my favorite anime soundtracks. This is one of the many strengths of the film. I feel that this is the best of Joe Hisaishi's works as well.
When the soundtrack and visuals come together, it makes all the little things in the film so much more special. The scene where Chihiro is on the train with No Face is one of my favorite scenes in the film. Something this simple can be so great only because of the connection between audio and animation.
Some people have said the story was confusing. For me, it was not all that hard to follow. Maybe that comes from having seen it so many times.
Spirited Away is a strange and unique anime that absolutely blew me away. The kind of film you can watch over and over again. It sparked my interest in anime and the works of Hayao Miyazaki. I cannot praise this film enough. read more
Mar 1, 2015
Let's get to it .. Sen to Chihiro no Makikakushi or spirited away is a movie that came out in 2001 and had a huge success, it had so many that it streamed outside of japan, in many different countries and translated to many different languages.. when i first watched this movie i had 10 years old and i didn´t realize the beauty of it.. now 7 years later i decided to review this movie again, and for my surprise, as soon as i started watching it, I started remembering everything .. what does it means? That in fact, when i watched for the first time, i actually enjoyed a lot for remember it so well 7 years later just by looking at the characters.
This anime won the oscar price for best animation in 2003, yeah pretty cool hein?
Story: 9/10. One word to describe it: Magical.. it drags us into that magical world where everything seems so .. magical ! It is fresh and really enjoyable actually. I mean this can be considered a kids movie, and it is but unlike disney movies, where everything seems so childish and ridiculous, here everything looks so nice.. i don´t know why honestly, maybe it is because of the tracks used ..
The plot is interesting, creative, original, fluid, and for 120 min, has a nice pace and some twists. Even though being so great, the themes are not that different from the kids movies, which unfortunately makes it look more "close to clichê".. when we have such amazing plot and they don´t take advantage of it, it really makes me mad.
Plus, certain characters in the movie i don´t know why they even appear ! There is a black monster over there that gets 20-30 mins screen time to be totally forgotten.. really felt like he was there to fill in.. and i really hate that !
Art: 9/10. It was made in 2001 so it doesn´t look really beautiful to our eyes but still .. the animation is the most fluid animation i've ever seen ! Everything looks so real in terms of movement that it felt like it was being filmed. Plus the detail on the background is stupid amazing. While in some TV shows and even some other movies, they play with shadows, vision camps and gradients to "save" some budget by cutting of completely the background (examples: using shadows of black/white they can hide some details, so usually dark places or bright full ones are used to do it; by putting the character in the first plan of vision, they can blur the background that it won´t look bad because we will have our eyes on the character), it's techniques like these ones that manage to save some money... here ... THERE IS NOT ANYTHING LIKE THAT .. every single frame has details so deep as the colours of the pages of the books .. i mean that is just silly. The background is so full of so many things, that forces us to wonder it while the action is happening instead of focusing only the main vision plan .. it's beyond amazing...
Sound: 10/10 .. please it makes everything look unreal .. and that is the purpose so they made it well.. it fits extremely well with the enviroment, which just creates a nice mood. And this is important actually, like the animation, the sound has the power to "turn on" the anime/movie by making it look better from what actually is .. both the animation and the sound have that effect, which is just great!
Character: 7/10. Well i don´t know if it is because of being movie or whatever, but we only have this characters: Chihiro, her friends and her "enemies", if you see the movie you will understand the quotation marks on "enemies".. really disapointing.. However our main character saves the day, even though she does not have much development .. it's a movie for god sake ! They don´t have time for deep monologues talking about her personal feelings.. her story is just amazing and can even teach us something .. the rewards of bravery, friendship and nobility.
Enjoyment: Which such a nice plot, nice animation and nice tracks .. well i full enjoyed every single minute. I got sad when this movie ended .. i wanted more .. and this my friends, is the feeling that tells you if the movie/anime was good or not..
The ending was just ... like everything else.. magical. I really can´t tell you more because i want zero spoil, i want you to full appreciate this movie like i did.
Overall: 9/10 .. it has some flaws so it can´t be a 10/10 .. i would say 9.5/10 so .. you won´t have regrets about spending 5 minutes to give this movie a chance, after 5 minutes into the movie .. sayonara my friends .. i see you in the end of the movie :)
I reccomend this anime to everyone. It's a piece of art that everyone must try some day .. read more
Jan 30, 2007
Jun 11, 2008
STORY - I rather liked the basic premise for this movie; it's very simple and reminiscent of a lot of traditional Asian children's stories, not to mention My Neighbor Totoro, with the whole moving away thing. In addition to Chihiro's task of saving her parents, the story very quickly expands to include an assortment of other strange characters, all with their issues and goals, and there are times when we are completely wrapped up in these secondary characters' problems. This makes it almost seem like Spirited Away should have been a short anime series rather than a full-length film. The randomness of some of the side stories really disconnected from the main plot, and I felt like it was a bit too unfocused at times.
Still, all of the subplots were entertaining, and if you look at the movie as a story of friendship and growth as well, then I suppose they could all be considered relevant. It also adds an element of realism to the film, since it's sometimes difficult to concentrate solely on one matter when there's so much else going on. The scatteredness of everything is also rather typical of Miyazaki's style, so most fans are probably used to it anyway. In the end, it's really just a matter of personal preference in the way of storytelling.
CHARACTER - I'm not sure how much I actually sympathized with Chihiro. By now, if you've been reading any of my other reviews, you would know that I'm not a big fan of characters with spotless morals, and Chihiro is one of them. She always knows what the right thing to do is, is never greedy, and never does errs on the side of "darkness," even for a little bit. This is especially evident in the No-Face incident. Being primarily a children's movie, I can understand the need for a role model, but I also think it would be easier to relate to Chihiro if she made some mistakes.
The rest of the cast is a bit better with having varied principles. The ambiguity of Haku's alliance was an interesting element that I enjoyed, though once again, it did irk me that Chihiro seemed unwaivering in her good judgment. Zeniiba and Yu-Baaba were rather generic as characters, but as a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, I did appreciate the references to the Duchess and her gigantic baby. The collection of creatures that came to follow Chihiro around were a little gimmicky, but they weren't very important and were fun to watch, so I guess there really isn't a point in critiquing that too much.
ARTSTYLE & ARTWORK - I don't think I've ever been a big fan of how people are drawn in Miyazaki's style, but it's bothered me the most in Spirited Away. Chihiro looks like a monkey to me. I can't un-see it! That's just me though, I know. The rest of the art is, as usual, gorgeous. All of the bath house guests, the creatures that appeared now and again, all of the details in the wrinkles and warts of the old women -- they were all great. And not to mention the detail in the environment! Every door and wall and floor and machine looked amazing, and if you paused the movie on a background, you could spend ten minutes just looking for and staring at all the little details that were included. It aways blows me away the kind of time and effort they spend on things that the audience only sees for about five seconds at a time. Just beautiful.
MUSIC - I wouldn't consider Spirited Away one of Joe Hisaishi's best scores, especially not compared to something like Princess Mononoke. Still, the tracks were always very fitting and appropriate, fun when need be, suspenseful when need be, as should be expected of any soundtrack.
VOICE ACTING - I've seen both the sub and dub. Stick with the former. Chihiro's English voice just irritated the hell out of me, and while admittedly, her Japanese original isn't all that much better, it's somehow easier to bear. Haku's English voice also could have been much better, and I really wasn't impressed with how most of his lines were delivered. Zeniiba and Yu-Baaba had pretty nice English voices, but I think it's a lot easier to cast for older characters since there isn't as much variation to their voices. The Japanese performance isn't outrageously amazing by any means, but it's at least better than the dub.
OVERALL - I liked Spirited Away. Though the pacing wasn't that great and some parts dragged on for much longer than they should have, as long as you're watching it with friends, it remains an entertaining film with lots of visual grandeur. And maybe if you emptied your head a bit and tried to think like a kid, you'd enjoy it just a little more, rather than being a grouchy, old critic like me. D;
May 14, 2012
At it's heart, Spirited Away is a familiar story. Again, our young heroine learns to find her inner strength and comes of age after “falling down the rabbit hole” and finds herself on a liminal journey through the realm of the spirits. Again it proves Miyazaki’s talent as a director, storyteller, and visionary-- elevating a traditional narrative by just executing it perfectly.
The lead character, Chihiro, excels as a heroine because her characterization is spot on. Miyazaki wanted to make a protagonist who would be able to speak to ten year old girls-- a demographic which is usually not represented in the medium, since ten year old girls are no longer adorable little children, but have yet to enter what we properly think of as adolescence. It’s really nice to see a strong protagonist young girls can look up to.
In addition to the coming of age story, Miyazaki also subtly folds in the difficulty of being able to consolidate traditional Japanese spirituality with modernity and the environmental theme pokes its head up again. And rather down the rabbit hole, Chihiro finds herself in a bathhouse for the spirits, allowing for really creative and fantastic visuals (and music; Joe Hisashi here is really at his best).
It also needs to be lauded for putting Ghibli on the map in the United States. While Totoro, Kiki, and Princess Mononoke had their fans, it was Spirited Away that first received a theatrical release that a fair amount of people saw (albeit after it won the Academy Award). It caught the attention of not only anime fans, but a general audience was suddenly turned onto Miyazaki’s work. It was followed by movies like Howl, but more notably Ponyo and Arrietty which are more obvious examples of Disney’s marketing and releasing Ghibli films stateside; this film set the precedent though.
This film is the perfect combination of mythical and reality; just the right amount of romance, action, tension, and those scenes where the movie quiets down and just allows us to take in the mood. It's truly a perfect movie, and one that everybody (anime fan or not) can enjoy. read more
Apr 4, 2014
If there's one thing I enjoy about the movie is the character, Chihiro. In the beginning, she portrayed well as typical ten-year old girls. She's irresponsible and slightly rude at times, though she isn't a complete brat. Her character development was handled perfectly and is the strongest point of the movie. She suffered through many hardships as she learned to face the realities ahead of her. One thing that completely came out of nowhere is guessing that the dragon was Haku. This is one flaw that I noticed immediately in this movie when I watched it.
Unfortunately, this movie isn't perfect. What!? A movie like this have flaws!? Yes. The character Haku is, unfortunately, a weak character. He came to know Chihiro from the past, which was revealed in the end of the movie, but nothing else was developed from it. It was suggested that there is some sort of romantic relationship between him and Chihiro, but the movie just implicated the idea just for no reason. Obviously, it isn't a romance, thank goodness, because if it was, it would indeed bring issues. It's sad that we don't get more interaction between Haku and Chihiro because there bond would have been strong if it did. Remember the last scene where Haku released Chihiro's hand in the end. That scene would have had more impact if there were more interaction.
The music was handled really well as it did fit with the scenes and it was music that was pleasing to the ears.
The art is astounding as it did handle detail a lot. If this movie was recreated again, we could all agree that this would be our next scenery porn.
Overall this movie was good, despite me not enjoying at some parts (though I never apply enjoyment into a rating because it would make it biased.). This movie gets my approval.
This deserves a (7/10) "Good" read more
Feb 26, 2008
Spirited Away is about a 10-year-old girl named Chihiro who with her parents, enters an ominous looking tunnel that leads them to a mysterious town filled with restaurants.
Chihiro's parents are quick sit down and begin eating. Unable to get through to them that they should leave, Chihiro wanders off and comes across what she recognizes as a bathhouse where a young boy suddenly appears and warns her to leave before nightfall.
However, as the sun sets, the town begins to fill up with Spirits, and Chihiro returns to find that her parents have undergone a mysterious transformation.
Now alone Chihiro must fend for herself as she meets strange spirits and creatures, and without her parents she must find a way to save them from being served up for dinner. With help from friends, will Chihiro succeed in her quest to save her parents and leave the mysterious town? Watch the movie and find out.
Spirited Away is one of Hayao Miyazaki's best works. I so enjoyed this movie. Chihiro grows from a self-centered girl to one of courage and willingness to put others before herself. The graphics in the movie are awesome and the characters are simply superb. Spirited Away may seem at first a child's movie but it isn't, it's a family movie and worth watching. read more
Dec 23, 2009
The story begins with ten year old Chihiro and her family on their way to their new home and decide to take a short cut. In the beginning, you see little Chihiro as a bratty little girl who is too scared to do anything without her parents. Later in the story you see this character develop beautifully. She becomes a brave, enlightened little girl who looks forward to new adventures.
Stumbling upon an abandoned theme park, her parents decide to help themselves to a meal laid out in a stand and are turned into pigs by the angry spirits! It is then that Chihiro receives a warning from Haku, a young boy, to leave before the lanterns set but is too late in doing so and ends up stumbling into a sea of water. Forced to work in the spirits bathhouse owned by the wicked Yu-baaba, Chihiro overcomes many challenges and meets new friends along the way.
Who could Haku be? What does he have to do with her past? How is Chihiro going to save her parents and go home? Will she ever go home?
A very unique, compelling story!
The art is breathtaking and absolutely incredible! It gives you a real feel for the characters and setting.
The voices are crisp and fit the characters right down to a tee.
Character development and unique personas are present, overall. My favorite characters would have to be Haku, Kamajii and Chihiro. Haku seems like your typical guy, trapped to be Yu-baaba's servant and forced to fulfill her dirty deeds all the while seeming arrogant in public, but gentle towards Chihiro. Kamajii, the boiler man, and Chihiro, the young human girl, surprise you as the story progresses. Lin, No Face, Zeniiba and even Yu-baaba become delightful characters.
I give this anime a 10 out of 10. I really enjoyed watching it and actually feeling involved in the characters dilemmas. This is the type of anime that keeps you on the edge of your seat in suspense, but also keeps you craving more in the end. It WILL surprise you. ;]
This could very well be one of Hayao Miyazaki's best works. To all of you Miyazaki fans out there: cheers!
Sep 5, 2009
The mopey Chihiro is throwing a small tantrum in her parents` car as they`re on their way to their new home. Understandably for a young child, she hates the idea of leaving her friends and adjusting to a new environment. Little does she know just how different her next environment would be when an ill-conceived shortcut leads the family to a mysterious bath house for the spirits. Her parents transform into pigs, and it`s up to Chihiro to make do on her own while she finds a way to undo the spell.
Story & Characters
Spirited Away is a window into Miyazaki`s imagination. Chihiro`s journey takes us at first to the Japanese-lore inspired bathhouse, ruled by (oddly enough) a western looking witch, and eventually to a place reminiscent of a European country side, with walking lamps, bouncing heads, and plenty of other wacky creatures in between. This is far from a trippy, scene-to-scene spectacle though. The story is grounded by and centered around the unlikely perseverance of Chihiro, who seems at first overly dependent, panicky and clumsy.
Reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, the fantasy world that appears as if it could not be further from reality actually has numerous parallels to our own lives. There is room to pick each bit of symbolism apart, but the beauty of this film is that such a cerebral understanding isn`t necessary to really get this film. The transition between the awe that the magical world inspires at first to the familiarity we feel for it towards the end is so seamless that it is only after the film is finished that the metaphors for humans and human society become apparent.
At the end of the day, Spirited Away will very much be a recognizably Miyazaki film with a little environmentalism, and plenty of the sweet innocence of youth. It starts off though, on a bit of a heartbreaking note. Chihiro goes through bouts of despair for losing her parents and as painful as it is to see her sink, it is equally inspiring to see her pick herself up again and continue clumsily at whatever task was occupying her. Unlike most of Miyazaki`s female leads who tend to be beautiful, pretty, or cute (depending on the age group), Chihiro`s chubby cheeks and messy hair make her unmistakably plain. Neither is her personality bouncy as is the case with the vast majority of girls in animation. Other than her listlessness, there isn`t much to describe about her. It is her unremarkable nature that makes her so adorable as the film develops the earnestness in her character that is deeper, and more essential than her personality. Where the earnestness makes her admirable, the plainness makes her genuine, and lovable. We might laugh at her expressions when she touches something vile, or an instance of complete physical ineptitude, but in an affectionate way, not unlike how you might laugh at your niece for tripping over herself.
Most critics acclaim Miyazaki for the whimsy in his animation, but equally remarkable is the detail that conveys humanity. Chihiro physically expresses herself in more ways than most animated characters. To start, her repertoire of facial expressions is more compete than most, but more importantly, it`s the conscious effort made to put both personality and realism in her movements. One example is when Chihiro must walk down a steep staircase along the side of a tall building. Instead of conveying her terror with a facial expression and ginger steps down the stairs, she gets on her butt and essentially crawls down the steps feet first, treating each rung like a near death experience. It takes some creativity to think up such an extreme, yet human manifestation of fear. The animation shows a layer of humanity that dialogue can`t approach. Regarding the backgrounds and overall visual theme, it is gorgeous and also quite expansive. There are images of luscious greenery, bright and extravagant decor in the bath house, and the serene, pastel-y colors of the countryside.
Piano and string centric pieces go nicely with the downbeat scenes in the film. The antics are accompanied by bright, stop-and-go pieces and the more dramatic scenes get the full orchestral treatment. It works well, but is largely unremarkable. The voice acting is wonderful on both tracks. The English voice actors capture the same essence in the characters as their Japanese counterparts with the exception of Chihiro. Chihiro`s Japanese performance makes her sound older than her age, but fittingly in the dumps, while her English voice is brighter, faster, but more believably childish.
Spirited Away spans moods, settings and emotions in a way that no other Ghibli film does. More so than even Princess Mononoke, this film is epic. This time, it manages to balance the typical innocence associated with the studio to create something that is intelligent, but also tugs at the heart strings in the most primal way. read more
Feb 25, 2014
Overflowing fantasy done right. I believe those four words would examine Spirited Away the best. Starting off with the main point, I must heavily compliment the imagination used in the movie, as well as connecting just-that with some elements from the real world. By doing so, we are shown something totally new through the story, but we aren’t completely lost while doing so. We can follow the entire thing easily, and experience it in a unique way.
If perhaps you did not know, Studio Ghibli is known for the creations of whatever comes to their minds, and that is good, really good, since their minds are awesome. You won’t see anything mainstream if you give their works a try. In fact, you’ll get quite the opposite. I’m pointing this out since many like to connect the genres they see with some mainstream fan-service series that are rubbing the same things over and over again. I would like to call that a taste killer. One thing that has to known by any anime watcher out there is that some quality series should be the object to judge other things from, not some random mass-product money-draining releases.
If we go back to Spirited Away, it is a movie. A stand-alone movie, with no sequels or prequels. Such types usually express the creators’ thoughts to the maximum, since there is quite a limited time in which they have to present what’s on their minds, and if there is a lot of it, you can expect something massive, for the better or worse. This movie goes for the better. What many creators and producers forget is the pacing in such 1-2 hour presentations. Spirited Away does that amazingly well. Starting slow, suddenly experiencing a whole fantasy drop, flying up and down through the new world in order to achieve a goal, meeting many new characters and experiencing many new things, as well as performing that finish, it rounds the entire ride up greatly. Yes, we could call Spirited Away a ride, since it is an experience that you simply love to follow from one act/scene to another. Intensive as it is from time to time, you get to adore it and its supreme, as well as a tad silly fantasy.
Complexity done right equals quality. Spirited Away has it.
I’ve mentioned childhood in the beginning of my review. Indeed, you might see the movie as a completely different experience if you watch it as a kid, a teen, or later as an adult. Regardless, the quality stays in any case. I can safely say so, since I’ve seen it around 10 times, the first time being around 10 years ago, and the last time being fairly recently. It is far from being the final time seeing it, though, I’m sure times will come when I’ll want to be taken through the ride again, like a little kid wanting to go on the roller coaster over and over again. If you’re discouraged to watch it because the main character is a 10 year old girl, then I must tell you to drop that idea right away. You get to sympathize with her, regardless if you are in the same age and gender group or not. Furthermore, being all honest, it’s not her that makes the show, but the story and the presentation. It is one of those rare cases in which the characters only spice the entire thing up, but the story delivers the main blows. That itself is one more factor of a quality-made product.
For a 2001 movie, I must compliment the animation as well. Although nothing mind-blowing, it does a more than splendid job at presenting us these fantasy wonders. The sound isn’t half bad, either. The voice actors as well as some OSTs fit with the mood perfectly, contributing that much more towards the overall whole. We get to sympathize with the characters fairly easily, and want them to experience only the very best ending. The negative points of some side characters are shown nicely, such as greed, hold of a grudge, and so on. On the other side, the main leads are well-gifted with some positive treats, such as guts, dedication, being ready to assist at any moment, and so on. Basically, by having the purely good vs purely bad style, it is that much easier for us to decide on whose side will our rooting go to.
Spirited Away has been and continues to be a beautiful experience. No matter how many times I rewatch the movie, my score for enjoyment hits the maximum possible. Rounded up point: This movie is simply a must-watch, regardless of your age and gender. Even if you are not a fan of fantasy in general, you might just change your opinion after you see this movie. However, if you are always up for some wide open fantasy-like experience, then I can assure you that you will simply love Spirited Away. read more
Apr 25, 2010
There are movies that you really have to think about. Movies that you won't understand unless you think about them until your brains come out your ears, and most people, unless totally intrigued, do not wish to think that much. Similarly, there are movies that are so plain in design that they require no thinking whatsoever. They lack in substance and exceed only in the predictable, feel-good story.
However, I have found that the best movies, and screw movies, just stories in general, are most successful when they find a type of balance between these two polar, but perpendicular ideas. And Spirited Away does.
Spirited Away has everything we love about predictable movies: relatable characters, character development, unbelievable setting, adventure, and sincere messages. But it also has the quirkiness that people find interesting and the artsy technicalities that experts of this field rave about.
I can confidently say that when you watch Spirited Away, you are in for a ride. It will be a slightly bizarre experience perhaps, but this balance between the bizarre and the familiarity is exactly what makes Spirited Away a spectacular movie.
Spirited Away chronicles a girl and her transition from child to young adult. Spirited Away is all about finding inner strength and qualities that you never knew you had, and while the protagonist Chihiro finds herself in the strangest and most frightening world you could imagine, I don't feel that this world is very different from the one she came from. Perhaps enhanced, yes, but the challenges themselves are the same no matter what setting, and Miyazaki shows this in his enhanced atmosphere. Chihiro learns to rely on herself and her mind and her heart, blossoming into a passionate young lady, and while that idea is nothing new, you will be surprised as to how new and important these ideas will seem when you watch the film.
From my own experience, I can say that Spirited Away effected me particularly strongly. It was not difficult to relate the attitude of the character to my childlike self, and so it seemed to me that her story was similar to my own (although perhaps subtracting the "spiriting away" aspect). I cannot know, if I watched it for the first time today, that I would feel as attached to it as I did when I was eleven years old and had never watched an anime before. But I have a feeling that Spirited Away would still have found a special place in my heart.
I can restate the obvious about the artistic and auditory acclaim of this movie, but I feel it would be redundant to do so when so many have done it before me. If it were up to me, I would talk about the contents of this movie indefinitely, particularly the complexities of Ogino Chihiro, but I feel that that is inadvisable as well, so I'll stop now.
I hope you give Spirited Away a try and admire the qualities I described above. Happy watching! read more
Jun 21, 2008
Aug 19, 2007
For some unknown reason, I have heard a lot of criticism about this anime, in that people think that it's no different from anything else that Studio Ghibli has released. Any other anime by Studio Ghibli has not won an "Academy Award For Best Animation". Nor has any other Ghibli work been ranked as the best animation title by IMDB.
Naysayers will cite Western narrow mindedness. I say nay. By now, anime has become such a phenomenon in the West. And more than enough smart people in the West know enough about what makes a good anime. And most of them would agree that Spirited Away has the makings of a good anime and that it is one of the best animes they will ever see.
Give respect where respect is due. At least give this anime a try. It's a travesty that a piece of art like this is not getting the amount of fame it deserves. You know who to blame (are you listening Naruto fans?).
A read more
Jul 5, 2014