Also From This Reviewer
Memories: an Anime Trio of Wow, LoL and Meh
(Classic) Miyazaki's: Spirited Away(version in English)
(Classic) Silent Hill 3
(Classic) Pet Shop of Horrors
(Classic) ICO (PS2)
(Classic) Serial Experiments Lain
(originally posted December of 2003)
All right, so I have to admit that, like many people, I hadn’t paid much attention to Miyazaki’s films until Spirited Away won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Shame on me…. I had no idea what I was missing…
Chihiro is an average girl from the city that’s moving to the suburbs. All is well until her father makes a wrong turn while driving and they end up in an “abandoned” park. The place is full of free food and Chihiro’s parents are gluttons so they eat and eat. Such was her parent’s greed that they are turned into pigs! Suddenly Chihiro finds herself stuck in this mysterious place… which is inhabited by bizarre spirits of all shapes and sizes.
Before she knows it she ends up as a slave at a bathhouse for spirits (it’s a spa…for spirits). There she befriends Haku (a wonderful boy with mysterious powers), Rin (a hot-headed young woman that becomes her friend) and many other strange people: including Yu-baaba (the horrible meanie with a huge nose that rules over the spa) and the creepy No Face( a spirit that follows Chihiro everywhere she goes). The movie develops as Chihiro learns all about this strange world of spirits, discovers Haku’s true identity, and fights to turn her parents back to their usual selves.
The music was good…it was not something out of this world …but it was still very good music. It is the kind that sort of creeps up on you without you even realizing it, and it adds a lot to the feel of each scene.
This was my biggest worry about this movie: the voice acting. Very few movies are dubbed decently into English, but this one was he exception. Chihiro’s voice actually fits her well, but the biggest surprise was Haku. The actor that provided Haku’s voice in English is this Amreican actor (forgot his name) that played an annoying neighbor kid in Step-by-Step and in Boy-Meets-World. Well, surprisingly enough his voice is a lot cooler now and it fits Haku’s character nearly perfectly. My only disappointment was the fact that voices like Rin’s sounded a bit too “American” for my liking… but hey…it’s still great….
Wow…just…wow…. Every single scene in this movie is done with the best detail ever. Then there are the colors… wow…. Miyazaki really worked his tail off thinking of every possible way to make every single scene in the movie visually appealing. Wow…this is possibly the best animation/coloring I have ever seen in an animated movie…wow….
Final Thoughts 4.5/5
So yes…Spirited Away…. boy, what a great film that was… Some people even started calling it the Japanese version of Alice in Wonderland (and with good reason too!). The story itself is wonderful, but in my humble opinion what really sets it apart is the animation and…wow…the coloring....
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