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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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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The best manga ever made

Author: JP Baillaud from Barcelona, Spain
10 December 2004

Even if you're not yet a manga addict, you'll be seduced by lovely Chihiro, the Witch sisters, the majestic cursed Dragon and a very odd Dark Spirit. You'll meet with the most surprising monsters and still have a background vibe of the Japanese world of politeness, Geishas and Tea Houses. That mix is so imaginative and so full of poetry that it will find the child in you. However, it isn't quite a usual manga storyline (not much fighting going on). It leaves you lighthearted and inspired! It is one of the most engaging movies I have EVER seen.

A must see!

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

One of the best movies in the galaxy

Author: Cassandra Lee
30 August 2004

Wow. Just wow. I'm completely blown away by how amazing this film was. For a while now I've had an urge to watch it even though I had no clear idea of what it was. I was under the impression that it was a present-day Anime version of Alice in Wonderland. Lucky me it turned out to be completely different considering I can't stand Alice in Wonderland.

I think the most prominent reason why this movie hits you so deeply is because its real. If I wasn't constantly thinking "Oh my gosh, the animation is so beautiful..." I probably would have forgotten its cartoon-status completely. Little things like the way Chihiro's hair moved when she walked, the expressions and body language put forth from everyone. I can hardly believe that the artists were able to capture that.

Then there's the story, which is just magical beyond all belief. I started watching this movie at midnight and sat quietly on my bed, spell-bound, for the next two hours as the movie played out. I've never watched a movie that could hold me so avidly the entire time.

Of course you have to comment on the whole spiritual journey Chihiro goes through while she is on her physical journey. Essentially, she starts out as an annoying brat and ends up as a less annoying not-really-a-brat. That sounds pretty negative, but Chihiro was a little annoying sometimes. Then again, kids her age do tend to annoy me in real life so she was obviously portrayed realistically. Oh well, you have to love her anyway.

This was a magnificent movie. I don't intend to give it back to the person I borrowed it from any time soon. What are you waiting for? Go watch it!

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

It really was good!

Author: nabina-mitra from London, England
8 May 2004

The tale of the Chihiro, the small girl who finds her self in a strange and daunting spirit world working to save her parents and return them all to the world from which they have come. Not knowingly seen or heard of Miyazaki's work before ( although it takes a few times for a name to penetrate my consciousness), I was without preconceptions about the film apart from my friend's "It's really good!" as she handed the DVD to me as a birthday present. I have to agree with her. This film rocked. Appealing, I should say to many age groups, (I saw it with my mum and some 30 something year old friends), it in turn scared, startled, moved me, made me smile and laugh and warmed the deepest cockless of my heart. This has everything from adventure and mythology(Japanese of course) to friendship and love. I was with the little girl and her friends every step of the way. It is a bizzare film but very watchable and completely enchanting. The animation is much softer than the usual Japanese Manga style of cartoon, and the tale certainly not as bloody. (Barely bloody at all) I saw the American dubbed version and the Japanese, subtitled version one after the other, and I prefered the latter. A good film, when well subtitled, leaves you with the feeling of actually having heard the characters say the words in English, and this was the case with this film. The translation in the 2 versions were not the same and to me some of the subtleties in the Japanese version were lost in the American version were there was the added pressure of having to syncronise the words to(cartoon)lip movement. There were also some cultural adaptions from the Japanese version to better suit an American audience, which I prefered without. Having said that, the American(English) version stands successfully in it's own right. My friends(& mum)who only watched the American version thoroughly enjoyed it. The DVD extras such as interviews with Miyazaki and the American director/producer? and the lead up to the Japanese release made fun watching too. Some of it just to get a little peek into the life/hard work/mad stresses behind making the film. I gave it a 10.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:


Author: kvala_530 from Sweden
19 April 2004

A wonderful, wonderful movie! You don't often see movies that fill you with warmth and happiness. This is one of them though. I had not too high (but not low) expectations of an animated Japanese movie, but I was soon charmed by the brave little girl Chihiro and fascinated and swept away by her adventures. The characters are complex and there are mysteries that don't get explained in the movie, which is nice for a change. In most children's movies we get to see these days, every thing is laid out bite-sized, and nothing is left unexplained. Spirited away is much more daring in that respect. And with right: children do not need to see everything explained, they can enjoy a story just as much if it is mysterious.

I give this movie a 10 because it managed to transport me to a fairy tale world and bring me back happy and content. I still think of it at times, even though it was a while back I saw it.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

...this movie will take you places that you'll find hard to leave...

Author: andreiz2k ( from Toronto, Canada
1 April 2004

I loved this movie. It allowed me to relive the wonder and edge-of-your-seat-excitement I experienced in my childhood when I watched another similar movie, The Neverending Story (Die Unendliche Geschichte). Watching Spirited Away awakened in my an almost insatiable appetite to see Neverending Story again. Although, unlike Miyazaki wondrous creation, it's German and older, although it's not animated and the special fx are a bit "dated", although it's about the coming of age of a little boy and not a little girl, the two movies are so much alike that when I watched it I had the feeling that Miyazaki's masterpiece is in fact the actualized Japanese version of this movie... The escapist premise is essentially identical: 2 children find an exit door from the mundane, from the rollerink, one through a hallway in an crying citadel, the other through a book. Both have parents too absorbed by themselves and their problems who don't have enough time for their kids' problems. In both movies self-sacrifice is a condition for survival and return to the real world. And let us not forget the friendly flying dragon which appears in both movies and is in essence a spermatozoid with the head of a labrador golden retriever... ;^) Still, I have to admit that while the Neverending Story's symbols are quite accessible, Miyazaki's symbols are much more vague. German clarity permeates through Neverending Story, while the Japanese coexistence of sharp contrasts is prevalent in Spirited Away. Still, both are colossal monuments dedicated to imagination and creativity, and if that's what you like, you shouldn't skip watching this movie!

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Fun to watch and a fresh look

Author: demondog2 from Chicago
20 December 2003

Spirited Away is an amazing movie. I've been getting so used to animation getting increasingly graphically detailed with computer-aided animation (Beauty and the Beast) or computer animation (Pixar stuff) that I forgot how good simple animation can be. Like much Japanese artwork, a lot can be said with simple strokes of a brush. Details here are applied to the areas they are required and not where they are unneeded. This helps focus the eye and alleviates the nonstop detail that tends to numb you after an hour of a Pixar flick (although I love them all too).

I loved the creativity of it. Since I'm a Westerner, it probably seems even more creative and new to me since I'm not used to dragons and spirits. Accordingly, the color palette seemed unique as well which made the movie seem fresh.

I'll agree with what others said about the movie being more of an uncontrolled wild ride rather than a plot, but that was OK for me.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Miyazaki's Latest Masterpiece

Author: SolidSnake86XX from Channahon, Illinois
28 September 2003

Well, what a surprise; "Miyazaki" and "masterpiece" together in an affirmative sentence. Spirited Away marks Miyazaki's first work as a semi-retired director, though the movie doesn't suffer from it in the least. Spirited Away is about a young girl gets lost in a world of ghosts and spirits and is forced to work at the bath house for specters. Any fan of Miyazaki will instantly fall in love with this movie. Don't be fooled by Disney's involvement or the fact that it's animated. It's still very much anime, but not anime for anyone. This is a good movie for young children and those who have a timeless love for movies. If you're the kind of person who still loves Toy Story, for example, then this will become another one of your favorites. People who are only into anime like Ninja Scroll and Cowboy Beebop, this may not be the movie for you. This is a movie for those who love anime of all kinds, like myself. Spirited Away is a fanciful movie that most open-minded individuals will enjoy. I'd have to give it a 9.25 out of 10.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

I didn't get it at first but then I saw it again.

Author: Nephilim-6 from Holland
1 August 2003

While Nausicaa is better this movie is a vast monument in animation. Therefor I find it an insult when people say something like Ice Age is better. sure Ice Age has pretty visuals but it does not have the depth and spirituality of Spirited Away.

However I cannot really blame most comments since most people don't really know Japanese culture other than Sushi, hightech gadgets, Dragonball Z and Pokemon.

The thing with Spirited Away is that it delves deep into the spiritual side of Japanese culture. To Japanese people all things contain spirits. Hence all the gods and spirits in this movie. there's a lot of symbolism in this movie as well. And a lot of life lessons.

And what I find really important: it doesn't try to be a kiddy movie but more a family movie. Western people often seem to view animation as something only for kids. In Japan this is simply not true. Animation is for everyone. It provides an escape and a way to create outragious stories that would not have been able to be created through normal film.

i love it. I found it hard at first but after seeing it again all the puzzle pieces fell into place.

Still I do have some isues with the film. Actually only 1. the ending was too swift. It should have been worked out a little bit more.

Other than that wonderful wonderful movie.

oh and btw (comment to one reviewer) watch the original japanese language version with subtitles. Chihiro does NOT have a high pitched voice. The whole ide of Dubbing in itself I find ludicrous.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

I can't stop watching this movie

Author: earlsleek from California
15 July 2003

I don't tell you this particularly to sell the movie, but maybe to come to grips with how utterly HAUNTING this movie is to me, and I'm still trying to figure out why. I bought the DVD before I'd ever seen it (and didn't even watch it for a few days), but once I hit "Play" I've been hooked ever since. I have trouble going three days without watching it, and I'm enlisting my friends to watch the movie, but secretly so that I can have an excuse to watch it again. I'll watch it dubbed or subtitled, it doesn't matter. I'm sick, and I don't want to get well.

Story? Great. Animation? Stellar. But that shouldn't be enough to enslave me to Miyazaki's vision. What then keeps me coming back? Well, I have one theory...

There's something about Chihiro that is utterly real, moreso than an in-the-flesh actress, even. The way she runs, or cries, or sulks, or clings to her mother, I don't know how Miyazaki captured it all, but as Chihiro grows, I feel like I'm growing with her. To me, that's why it's cheap to compare SA to Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland; Dorothy and Alice are flat characters, while Chihiro is in my eyes a genuine 10-year-old child. My heart roots for Chihiro.

Yeah, maybe I'm lame, but I'll tell you this. When I think about Hollywood's cookie-cutter punchline movies these days, I barely even feel temptation to attend. Why sit through the latest mediocrity (or sequel to mediocrity), when I can just throw SA back in the DVD player and get my guaranteed movie magic?

My name's earlsleek, and I'm an SA junkie.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Miyazaki at his best

Author: Brit Pybas from United States
8 July 2005

Here I find myself again reviewing another great Miyazaki movie. Spirted Away in my opinion is probably the second best Miyazaki movie to date with Grave of the Fireflies in first and Naussica in third. Spirted Away is a great movie for kids and adults alike. I found that it was not very scary, but some moments your kids might find more frightening then others. In this film it doesn't seem to have much of the nature mixed in with the plot, though when Chihiro meets the River Spirit he has tons of trash inside of his body, which is what Miyazaki saw in a river my his city while he was walking. It is rated PG for scary image. I give it a 9.25 out of 10.

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