Newest Review: ... explore the rest of the town. Soon after it becomes dark, and we are introduced to young Haku, an oddly familar boy, who in a pani... more
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Spirited Away (DVD)
Member Name: theeccentric
Spirited Away (DVD)
Advantages: Plot, Characters, Animation
Disadvantages: Perhaps quite dark for some children.
This oscar winning anime directed by Hayao Miyazaki and created by Studio Ghibli is a tale of a girl Chihiro.
10 year old Chihiro and her family are moving to a new town where she will have to start a new school, make new friends and adjust to her new surroundings, however in spirit of a typical young child, she is incredibly pessimistic about doing so.
Her parents and Chihiro are driving to their new house however take a wrong turn which causes them to drive through a derelict forest. Eventually they discover an abandoned town which despited Chihiro's pretenses, they explore. While exploring they find a what seems to be "public" feast in which her parents immediately begin eating. Chihiro with her best efforts tries to pull them away but instead it just causes them to gobble it down further, so she decides to independently explore the rest of the town.
Soon after it becomes dark, and we are introduced to young Haku, an oddly familar boy, who in a panicked tone tells Chihiro to leave before night-fall: "It's not safe for a human after night-fall!" Confused and scared she runs to collect her parents but to her alarm and surprise they have transformed into despondent pigs. Unsure what to do, and unable to leave because of her parents, she is forced in to the dangerous spirit world full of odd and quirky characters all of which don't like humans.
Meanwhile, Haku helps her by instructing her to get a job at the bathhouse by aksing Yubaba; a selfish woman with an oversized head and oversized baby. Yubaba allows Chihiro to work in the boiler house under one condition, she can take her name. Unknown of the consequences, Chihiro accepts...
Will Chihiro save her parents? Will she ever get back home? What is this mysterious spirit world?
The film runs for 125 minutes all of which is hand drawn animation with impeccable attention to detail on every aspect of this alternate fantasy world. Like many Studio Ghibli classics such as "My Neighbour Totoro", "Howls Moving Castle" and "Ponyo" they all have stunning atmospheric soundtracks. The Spirited Away soundtrack goes perfectly with the film and really emphasises all of the strangeness and odd familiarity to the film. Such as some of the characters such as the adorable Sootballs, suit there music and almost move to the beat. Other pieces of music such as "One Summer's Day" and "Dragon Boy", set the scene and with the musics build up and stunning visuals, help to really evoke emotion.
The voice actors (english dub) are superb. Pixar Animation Studios dubbed it with the assistance of John Lassiter which really helped the voice actors give a believable performance. These actors consist of Daveigh Chase who voiced Chihiro and has voiced characters such as Lilo from Lilo and Stitch. Susan Egan who voiced Linn (a maid in the bath house) who has also voiced Meg in Hercules and many more.
I throughly enjoyed this movie and have watched it numerous times. It seems that every time you watch it, you spot something different that you haven't seen before. You will never tire of this film, it is such a contrast to most animations, and its surreal plot, alien characters and encapuslating world will be sure to create a perfect escapism.
I would not recommend this movie to any young children because the storyline is fairly sinister and like the majority of animes, it has quite a dark feel to it. However if you're an adult or child and are not easily scared and loves to be immersed in to a fantasy world then this movie is for you.
Summary: Beautiful Animation, Visually Stunning.