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I distinctly remember that, on the way out of the theatre, I realized I had
totally forgotten about the film being an animation!
I couldn't remember, and still can't, when I was that drawn into a movie and into the world of an author. Certainly very subjective, but I felt that this work speaks to the child AND to the grown-up in me, and I didn't experience that so often...
The incredibly intense moods, particularly some very calm moments where nothing happens, almost no sound... beyond words at its best moments (which, to me, is: most of the time!), though I admit - to give it the honesty it certainly deserves - having being a bit lost in the overwhelming diversity of caracters and events some times...
But that's really nothing compared to what this film gave to me (I didn't even say "film" on purpose...).
Not the one to watch if you want to get violently distracted... (Mission impossible 1 & 2, Terminator 1 - 3, and so on).
Definitely worth watching, I'd put it in my top ten of the past ten years.
How do you describe emotions? This movie shows what pictures and sound can do when a master is using them to let his soul speak...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I first saw this movie in theaters about two years ago. It was not a mainstream release, and I'm lucky that I have a theater nearby which plays small, independent, and foreign films. After I left the theater, I was stunned at how much the film had emotionally impacted me. I knew, however, that viewing such an excellent film only once was not enough to glean all the beauty that it has to offer. So, I awaited the April 15, 2003 DVD release date with eager anticipation. I bought the DVD as soon as it came out, and I have seen Spirited Away many times now.
One of the aspects that impresses me the most is the mood this movie sets. I am thinking particularly of the times when Chihiro is in between the human world and the spirit world. Scenes like inside the train station, where Miyazaki shows such details as sunlight streaming through a faded stained-glass window and an aged water fountain slowly dripping water onto the floor, coupled with Joe Hisaishi's eerie and erratic piano, showed me that Miyazaki pays close attention to detail and mood.
I am also intrigued by the insight Spirited Away offers into Japanese culture and mythology. I love learning about Japan, since its traditional culture is so distinct from the U.S.'s. It is cool to see even little things, such as removing the shoes before entering a house. This movie is another way of learning about Japan.
The storyline of Spirited Away also draws me in. It is so wild and unusual that it works well. I have never seen a movie with a story similar to this. Despite the wildly original storyline, the characters are easy to understand and become attached to. They are unique and full of life; they never become dull. Chihiro demonstrates moral values through her courage, and by caring enough about her parents to risk her life for them. The scene where she finally frees her parents from Yubaba's spell is particularly indicative of this.
Yet another reason why I have become so attached to this movie is the soundtrack. The composer, Joe Hisaishi, has created a wonderful and brilliant score of music that perfectly complements the mood and events of the movie (as I mentioned in the first paragraph). In fact, Hisaishi's score is so excellent that is works well as stand-alone music also, which is why I have the soundtrack.
The first Miyazaki movie I ever saw was Princess Mononoke. That picture was a masterpiece (musical score also by Hisaishi), but I think Miyazaki has outdone himself in producing Spirited Away. This film is a beautiful work of art, and I recommend it to anyone who can appreciate the subtleties of a movie that caters to more than the lowest common denominator. 10/10.
The attention to detail in this animation surpass most animations. The fantastic artistry depicts the character's emotions perfectly. You are immediately 'drawn' into the story and remain there until the credits. The story, the voice acting, the animation, are all the best examples I have seen in animation. Anyone familiar with Hayao Miyazaki's work knows he is a genius story teller and I feel Spirited Away is his best to date. This show is extremely entertaining for folks of all ages. If you are new to Anime this is definitely a great introduction to Asian quality and style animation. This show is perfect on all levels, I could not recommend it more.
This is probably one of the most wonderful Anime films ever made. It's
every piece of praise it gets. The most wonderful thing is that not only
children can fall in love with this story.
The characters are wonderful too. The young Chihiro takes her role as the heroine and a very different one of that. This Chihiro is bratty and whines a lot too (This is shown a lot more in the English dub). Chihiro and her parents stumble not the 'Spirit World' and Chihiro finds herself on a most exciting adventure.
Chihiro, to survive must work in the evil witch, Yubaba's bathhouse. Yubaba robs Chihiro of her name and re-names her 'Sen'. But thankfully Chihiro isn't alone in this strange world. Helping Chihiro on this adventure is the mysterious yet handsome young Haku. He, a kind and wonderful friend to Chihiro and tries to help her as much as he can. However, he also has had his name robbed of him.
The wonderful story and plot is one we will never forget and characters which say more then an interesting character for a movie. That part of what I said is shown in the strange No-face, whom just wants to have friends.
'There is a No-Face in all of us' I believe it's true.
This film is worth 10/10 and five stars in any book. Even the wonderful song at the end gives 'Spirited Away' a powerful force on our hearts. Everything in this film from the start to finish is a masterpiece. I think this has to be one of the best-animated films ever made.
***** Five Stars
10/10 For Plot and Character
AND... 1000% Support!
What a wonderful film this is. Not many japanimation movies have whisked me away to distant lands as effectively as this one did. The amazing thing is that, unlike so many japanimation films that are confined by efforts to convey distant and unrealistic lands through the most realistic animation possible, this film is judicial in its' efforts by using realistic animation (or animation based on reality) when necessary, and utilizing creative images that allow an escape from reality. This aspect, as well as the great storyline and memorable characters, made the movie completely engrossing. The makers of this film mastered the use of animation in order to create a wonderfully mystical land.
This movie was great. It had fantastic animation and a great story line. The scenery animation was so great it looked real. The character types were also really well thought up by the creators. It was very much like a realistic motion picture and it deserved the awards it got.
The opening, with the 10 year old heroine and her parents driving to their new house, gently draws you in to a believable world of spirits, bravery, adventure, humour and love. The settings are magnificent and apparently are mostly painted and not computer generated. Our 12 year old daughter was reluctant to see the film and then was entirely captivated - as were we (and we are somewhat older than 12). If you've not seen it - then do; you won't be disappointed. The story is more than just a good tale, it is a fable of our times.
This is considered one of the best (If not the best) Anime' films ever
and its cinematic storytelling at its finest. Not since "Akira" has an
animated film made the impact like this. This was created by the Japanese
animator Hayao Miyazaki who is considered a god in terms of Anime' and its
his wonderful stories and imagination that makes him so special. This is
story of a ten year old girl named Chihiro who is traveling with her
to their new home and she is sad that they have to move. Her father takes
what seems like a wrong turn and they come across a structure with a
in the middle. They all get out and walk through to the other side and
Chihiro's father recognizes it as an old park that has gone under over the
years. They come across another structure with food set out and Chihiro's
parents waste no time in helping themselves to as much food as they can
Chihiro discovers to her horror that her mother and father have turned
pigs and she runs off to try and find help. She encounters a boy named
that takes her into the strange world where spirits and witches habitat
he tells her to find someone named Kamaji and ask for a job. She is looked
down on as a human but she manages to find Kamaji who has eight legs like
spider and he gets her a job. Chihiro works with Lin who is an older
and she shows her what to do and where to sleep. Chihiro helps out
and delivering but at night she sneaks out to talk with Haku who is
her get her parents back and to be able to go home.
Miyazaki has such a broad sense of imagination and this is reflected in his other films like "Princess Mononoke" and "Kiki's Delivery Service" and this film is probably even greater than those two. This film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and it certainly deserved it. One of the joys of watching Miyazaki's films is that you have no idea what so ever has to what will happen next. The characters and events take the viewer on a strange and fantastic voyage that has never been seen before. Yubaba the witch has a giant baby named Boh, Haku turns into a flying dragon and Kamaji has these dustball/spider things carry lumps of coal to a furnace that heats everything. One of the big highlights of this film is the "Stink Spirit" that is this giant glob of river mud and Chihiro helps it get clean. While she does this she helps pull out all the junk (Bicycles, assorted metal, etc..) until we see what this spirit really looks like. This is the type of animated feature that children should view and this is not to knock American animated films but the Japanese concern themselves more with the stories. Children should view films that will enhance they're imagination but unfortunately most of the crap they are forced to watch is usually something that they can guess as to what will happen next. Miyazaki had no plans to make another film but happily he is working on another one! This is a great animated film and it should be recommended viewing for children although adults will love this also.
Wow, what a great movie. I was a bit sceptical. A cartoon. But this one
much further. A animated movie with depth. You can see that human
goes beyond cultural borders.
Such a basic story, with emotional peaks and phylosophic deeps.
A movie which will make you think who you are and what you are doing here.
Once again, Studio Ghibli has not failed to please --winner of countless
merits from New York to Tokyo, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, or Spirited
Away, is a visual joyride, breathtaking in its imagination, and
in its story.
Not unlike Alice in Wonderland or the Wizard of Oz in its own ways, Spirited Away is something of a fairy-tale about a young girl called Sen who is mysteriously transported into the world of the Gods. In fact, the translation of the original Japanese title means 'Sen and the Mysterious Dissaperance of Chihiro'. Sen's journey is what Americans would refer to as an unconventional look at a classic fairytale, and what the Japanese refer to as a spectacular view at history and religion. It is, indeed, both simultaneously.
I enjoyed the movie for its innovation, its humor, and the sheer brilliance and color of its art. As an artist, I certainly appreciate the ornate animation --from pants zippers to antique vases, no detail is neglected, no scene overlooked. The music, composed by Jo Hisaishi, is heartfelt and expressive. If I watched it for one detail in the entire movie alone, it would still be just as entertaining.
Spirited Away cannot be overlooked as 'just another anime'. It is animated poetry, history, religion, comedy and magic in an hour and twenty-five minutes.
Take your kids, take your parents, take your dog for God's sake! It's an amazing film that has lived on in my heart and will continue to do so for years to come.
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