125 Min | Animation – Adventure – Family | July 2001
IMDB Rating: 8.6
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Starring: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino
Spirited Away Review: Spirited Away is one of the most perfect movies. The least I can say about it is that there was not a single moment during it that my attention wasn’t completely focused. The plot was fantastic and full-bodied. In Spirited Away, each character was given so much personality, even the little soot spiders weren’t treated as two-dimensional. In a way the whole film felt like a dream, in that it is seamless. It flows, effortlessly, from scene to scene, from emotion to emotion – straight from terror and tragedy to comedy – without the subtle bump that wakes you up, that lets you know that the makers of the movie and the creator of the script had wanted you to be crying but now you really should be laughing. It was so lifelike.
Sometimes in real life the most grim moments contain honest elements of comedy that do not seem out-of-place. But trying to put that sort of convoluted emotion into a film creates a very thin line that too many have fallen off of.
‘Spirited Away’ centres on ten-year-old Chihiro, a little Japanese girl who accidentally stumbles upon the Spirit World while exploring a mysterious passageway with her parents. When her parents are turned into pigs for stealing food, it falls to young Chirhiro and Haku, her guide in this strange new world, to save them before they become bacon. Not only are the characters well-depicted and engaging (with a few adorable little creatures added in to gush over!) but the story is very involving.
During Chihiro’s quest, not only do we see she and Haku grew as characters but we learn much about Japanese mythology and the moral of how not everything is as it seems. The atmospheric and other-worldly quality of the film leaves the audience feeling as if they too have joined the young heroine in this strange new land where the impossible seems possible. There was no part of the film that felt fake, or rushed, or shaky, the intensity of the story line and the determination of the lead character was obvious throughout. More than causing interest, Spirited Away made me feel. I was sucked into the drama. The caliber of this picture is so high. overall, Spirited Away is a good movie.