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Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi
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Reviews & Ratings for
Spirited Away More at IMDbPro »Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (original title)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

How can anyone dis this movie?

10/10
Author: cwfultz from Vanleer, Tennessee
26 June 2003

Spirited Away was freakin awesome and everyone is saying this movie stinks. How can you say that? This movie is awesome. The world in this movie is so captivating it almost seems real. Anyone who hates this movie must have been busy pointing out it's very few faults or talking on the phone or doing something to not pay attention to the movie. Someone please reassure me that there are people out there with decent taste and appreciate this movie.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Weird & Wonderful ...

8/10
Author: Noel (Teknofobe70) from Bromsgrove, England
7 June 2003

Looking at this film as an outsider, someone who knows very little about Miyazaki's films or ANY anime film for that matter, I've got to say that I found it to be a real breath of fresh air, and a welcome break from Disney films. It encourages me to go out and seek more anime films, but I also fear that I might be disappointed by those films if they aren't as great as this one.

Most of the film is set in a hotel for spirits which is ruled over by an evil witch and is staffed by a variety of extremely weird, but certainly original, monsters. A young girl named Chihiro (or Sen) finds herself trapped here after her parents trespass on the property, and must work there until she can find a way to escape with them. With it's cultural sensibilities, the film at times has a harsher edge than you would expect to find in your average American cartoon, but in the end it is also extremely heart-warming.

As I'm not really familiar with Anime, the closest Western parallel I can think of would be pixar's Monsters Inc., which was similarly interesting and original. Whether or not children will understand or enjoy this film I don't know, but adults will certainly find it interesting. It's worth noting that though I've only seen the subtitled version, there is an English dubbed version also available if you do want to show it to your kids.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Charming & Heartwarming

8/10
Author: Michael Clough from Melbourne Australia
7 June 2003

Wow, what a charming & heartwarming film this one is. Great family entertainment. Good to see old fashioned hand drawn animation still in use.

You really develop an attachment to Sen & all of the other odd characters. Characters that you thought were bad turn out to be good & the good characters are just good! Funny & well done, a must see 8/10.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Very imaginative

8/10
Author: aeriz
3 June 2003

To design and think of all the characters in this film is sheerly masterfull. Each spirit has a unique aspect reflecting what they are and how they are different from those around them. Even the bath house workers, who are more or less one of two races of spirits, have qualities that make them individual from their peers. This is one of Hayao's greatest creations and a must see even for non-anime lovers.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Wow. Just...wow

10/10
Author: Templar-7 from New Jersey
20 September 2002

I can't come up with sufficient superlatives for this movie.

The animation was excellent, as you might expect from a Miyazki movie. But what put it over the top was the art direction. The screen is filled to bursting with little details, even in the painted backgrounds.

It's funny in parts, and even cute at times, but it never detracts from the story. Again, the details do it. And the voice acting was excellent, better than it was on Miyazaki's Mononoke, IMO. The main characters are all well-drawn and interesting, each one animated with enough personality to make them all very different.

While the story follows some of the elements of the Hero's Journey, it's a lot more about a young girl overcoming her fears and doing what she feels is right. The girl is no superhero, just a regular person who finds a lot more courage inside her than she would have ever guessed was there.

It's superb filmmaking, and if it is playing in a theater within an hour's drive of you, I promise you that it is worth the trip. If you don't leave with a smile on your face, feeling a fair bit better than you did when you sat down, I'd be stunned.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Quite Excellent...

10/10
Author: Inu_Ranma (Inu_Ranma@yahoo.com) from Santa Cruz, CA
20 September 2002

I went to one of the first showings of Spirited Away today, and was completely blown away. The animation quality blew even artistic gems like Mononoke Hime far out of the water, with quite a few scenes that left me completely without breath in their complete awe-inspiring detail and beauty. The story is complex, well-developed, and easy to understand due to the pacing that brought the film to a whopping two hours and twenty minutes of running time.

The music was by the always-amazing Joe Hisaishi, who has been with Ghibli for all 13 of their films, and there was even some VERY well placed CG by America's own Studio, Dreamworks. The Dreamworks guys loved working with Miyazaki, they said, but they also noted that another partnership is not likely.

So here's my lowdown:

Music: 10/10. Freakin' incredibly done. Japan's 'New Philharmonic' was conducted by Joe Hisaishi, along with a few solo piano moments by Hisaishi himself to mix in an Audio masterpiece alone.

Animation: 10/10. Again. Perfect in every single minute detail. Miyazaki is one of the few Animators in the world who has never used a repeat frame, never had a lack of continuity, and never used a still cel. He continues this tradition and accents upon his true talent by HAND DRAWING many frames that excelled even the very few computer generated scenes in detail, depth, and beauty.

Story: 9/10: Fiercely original with a few twists of The Time Bandits crossed with Alice In Wonderland. The story is complex and amazing, but there are small bits where it may be a bit hard to follow. Sound: 7/10: The foley was done quite perfectly, making sure that every single movement, even the silly ones, was obviously coming how, where, and when it was supposed to. (another thing Disney can take a hint on.) The dubbing was quite good, but it was not great. It didn't get annoying though, so I only took off a few marks for it ^__^

Characterization: 10/10: It takes a true master to create a story without a villain. Enough said.

Overall: 46/50- This movie was nearly perfect. So perfect, as a matter of fact, that is was as good, in my opinion, as THIS film can get while being THIS film. See it now, or forever know that you missed seeing a masterpiece such as this on the big screen.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Really amazing fantasy.

10/10
Author: (Mooviez) from Los Angeles, CA
20 September 2002

It's really interesting. Princess Mononoke was so amazing that it forced me to seek out and see as many of Miyazaki's other films as I could get my hands on. This wasn't as easy as it sounds, since even though Disney owns the American distribution rights to all his earlier Studio Gibli works, they keep not releasing most of them. However, after watching a number of his films, I really came to love and appreciate what Miyazaki does as a film maker, and to really be in awe of his talent and mastery of dramatic story telling. I awaited this film's release in the U.S. with much anticipation, and I got the chance to see it last night at an advance screening here in L.A. I wasn't disappointed. There are many review on here, so I'm not going to go into plot details, but I'd like to say, in response to some other user comments that I didn't find the story structure episodic at all, but rather extremely tightly crafted, with not a wasted beat. Everything was setup and paid off beautifully, and the story structure blossomed like a flower. We were transported deeper and deeper into this beautiful universe out of Miyazaki's imagination, and allowed to see such amazing things. I was particularly moved by both the polluted river and the train transporting dead souls. Both poetic anthropomorphisms were subtly expressed, and masterfully expressed. Ten out of ten. One of the best films I've seen in awhile.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A perfect follow up to Princess Mononoke.

10/10
Author: JG2001 from Seattle, Washington
17 September 2002

After Miyazaki created the more maturely minded Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away is an excellent return to some of his earlier themes, such as childhood innocence and how love and friendship can save the day, all without the typical shmaltz that infects Hollywood childrens' films. The film is a blast for older audiences, whether they watch the film with children or others their own age.

Die hard Miyazaki fans will recognize the soot balls from the director's 1988 film My Neighbor Totoro, which also strongly focused on childhood. Though, where Totoro was a lighthearted romp, Spirited Away is definitely darker, much in the sense of Alice in Wonderland, though it has nothing to do with Lewis Carrol's work. The atmosphere is entirely Miyazaki's own, and after watching it, it's easy to see how the film set a box office record, becoming the highest grossing domestic film in Japanese history, right ahead of Princess Mononoke.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Unlike anything Disney has ever done before

10/10
Author: thx_boy from Buffalo, New York
14 September 2002

Spirited Away, or as it's called in Japan, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, is a remarkable animated feature. Sure, rarely any anime films get released in theaters (except for the other kiddie anime films which shall not be named), and one of the most popular animated features in Japan will eventually make it over here, courtousy of the brilliant minds at Disney and Pixar.

The film, in ways,shares a similar storyline with Alice in Wonderland, but it is much more Japanese in almost everything involved. The color, as with almost every other anime film, is very vivid and detailed. But, don't start thinking it's a music-filled Disney trademark film.

Contradictory to most Disney films, it's a darker animated feature, both in the script and the on-screen graphics. It didn't get rated PG for just anything. There are some parts in this movie that will scare younger kids, but there are also some other parts in the film that have the right fantasy elements to them, and kids will appreciate that.

Concluding, both the young kids and the hardcore anime fans should check this one out for not only it's subject matter but for it's vividness and superbity. (Sure,it's dubbed into english, but that doesn't mean that it's the end of the world. Most dubbed films are okay to watch, anyway.)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

good old fashioned kids movie

10/10
Author: ajax_magnetoface from Brooklyn, USA
26 August 2002

I just got the HK DVD (japanese with english subtitles) of this and compared to all of the Miyazaki films, this is a small departure but excellent in all new ways.

Usually Miyazaki has strong lead female characters, but Chihiro (Sen) is quite shy and weak, but transforms which is exactly the point of the movie. It's a great teaching film for kids and never gets heavy moralistic or filled with tacked-on adult issues. Its about being pushed and accepting the challenge and dealing with hardship in a noble way.

Its also got a good amount of scary stuff thrown in, which I recall, made my childhood stories all that more better (Slovenly Peter and Beatrix Potter and Roald Dahl scared the bejeezus out of me as a kid). Scary yes, but once adjusted, the frightening spirit world which the small girl Sen is suddenly trapped in contains very human-esque monsters, and cute critters as well for laughs. I like the concept in the story that the sprit world inhabitants are repulsed by humans and are more scared of Sen than Sen is of these monsters.

We know that Miyazaki aint pulling any punches when dealing with kids stories. No sappy Disney crap here. People bleed, die and suffer in Miyazaki's films, but like any good epic adventure, suffering builds character and creates strong-willed and sophisticated people out of mere children.

Sen is an amazing fantasy. You are sucked in almost immediately and really identify with the protagonist, who must figure out how to survive and eventually escape back to her own world. Its surrealism to the highest level in the definition of being dreamlike. Its a vivid dream you'll remember for days if not a lifetime.

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