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368 out of 495 people found the following review useful:
I disagree with Gazzer-2, 12 January 2005

Actually I dislike his or her comments badly. If you didn't get it watch it again. This is not a piece to just entertain, the creator has put his own feeling and I believe life experience and the fear always buried in children's mind into it. It is a comely tale that express the creator's thoughts in some way, whilst shining as a attractive animation piece with so many details that you might have ignore if you were careless. It is a rich story and I can see the efforts creators put into it in many spots and frames.

e.g. While Chihiro was walking towards the garden where Haku told her to meet him, she passed some stairs where she can see an island, there are some house on it, she stopped for it for a little while, that, represents her longing to human world, her own world, this kind of details can be ignored by many people but they don't mind putting it in to make the whole story richer, more truthful, full of power of humanity.

Apart from that, did you ever notice that some "camera language" was used very well to tell the story in a more entertaining and better pace.e.g. When Kamaji was telling Chihiro how Haku turned up to this world before just like what she did, the "camera" panned to where the little rat(changed from the fat baby)was showing off to soots by putting his foot into the spell melted print while Kamaji's introduction about Haku's background is also getting across to the audience. This is just one of the details that shows how much story telling skills and rhythm control of plots.

There're many other things like this, shouldn't be ignored if you want to make a nice comment, even though as an American viewer you might miss a lot of the story by lack of the culture background, but that's not the reason that you can comment it as anyway you want without even really READ the film.

I am a visual effects person and film maker but I can't tell where the jerking of the footage and the stopping of character's movement are in the film. could Gazzer please enlighten us? As also a fan of Pixar I hope I don't have bias on either American animations or Japanese ones, but as a Chinese who might have some resistance towards Japanese products for national esteem or historic reason, I still admires Ghibli Studio's work. "Spirited Away" is a masterpiece of elegant picture and touching story, if Gazzer-2 knows what that means.

"Ice Age" was a pretty cute one of Fox productions, but not good enough to compete with "Spirited Away" I'm afraid. And I'd laugh at the opinion that the story of "Ice Age" is much simpler hence Oscar committee didn't recognise it, actually I believe "Spirited Away" was beautifully hand-painted frame by frame while "Ice Age" had a giant crew in 3d animation and visual effects. I'm afraid Ice Age was the much more complicated one.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Couldn't the screenplay be better?, 11 January 2005

Actually It is surprising to me when I finish watching this film and look it up in IMDb and find so many comments singing high praise to it.

It is really a strong beginning, when I see Danielle's father dying, he chooses to say "I love you" to Danielle but not his new wife, I reckon there're rich sub text in this moment and it is full of humanity, that shows the man's last worry about the daughter, his thinking or timid(is that the word?) about his new wife, I was touched, I thought there would be some interesting adaptation in it and that could possibly make the fairytale into a more realistic story about human and love.

I think the director did have the ambition to make this into a masterpiece, wonderful cinematography, charming costume and excellent proficient cast. Even the DVD menu design was the style that can amaze me. But the story doesn't seem to go on this way.

Suddenly time passed with a simple voice-over, where I suppose a couple of life details of Danielle living with her step family can be cut in, to make the story's background richer and provide more preparation or reasons for the later behaviors of these four women. I always think there must be some jealous or fear in Baronese, whose husband died 2 weeks after she moved into a new land, and barely showed any attaching to her before death, which contributed, in some way, to the twisted step-mother she becomes later. As the details are not told, feeling changes of the step family are not suggested, Danielle's longing to mother-love becomes a bit of a sudden when she expresses it later in the story, though it's yet understandable. Anyway if some incidents early in their life, when Danielle and her step-sisters are young, can be told in the film, which tells the development of their different emotions to each other, the story will be better looking.

I have to say the insert of Da Vinci is a pretty design, and when Danielle carries Prince Henry away in front of Gypsies the story becomes very interesting, there're also some thoughts of the screen writer (or maybe director) can be seen there that some philosophy and academic debating will give more sense of history and loyalty to the story as its background is like- The development of Prince's love to Danielle is not yet sufficient, actually that feeling seems come out of no where. I have to say that I was expecting a classic moment or an extremely beautiful shot that pushes the feeling up, but it doesn't appear either. Which makes me feel a bit lost all the way through- are there something missing? To tell how a love story starts there are many ways, sometimes it takes long sometimes it just need one scene of acting, but none has been used here I feel.

I watched it again when I saw so many positive comments and I still feel those shortcomings I mentioned above are true, though I do enjoy watching it and I wouldn't mind watching it again; as a girl I think , can always please herself by watching a Cinderella story. :)