My questions in bold, Bruce’s answers below!
1) Do you remember when you first saw the movie?
I honestly can’t remember when I first saw this movie but it’s been at least 8 years.
2)Why do you think that it’s recommendable? What do you like about it?
It’s great a story that is simple with a few characters that you just really like. Even Faceless becomes. A lovable character. Miyazaki creates a fantastic world with all kinds of creatures but many based from Japanese mythology with other mythologies thrown in. The movie is not hard to follow, so you can just sit back and enjoy.
I think now that John Lassater has brought the Miyazaki films to Americas attention and they’ve been dubbed in English more people are enjoying them. The Japanese Anime has always had a decent following in the US but you had know where to look for it. This movie and Howl’s Moving Castle are great gateways to the Miyazaki world and other Anime.
4) Is there any particular reason you thought I should watch it, or were you just surprised I hadn’t seen it?
Think I answered that in question 3. But Anime is a subset of animation so if you’re not into animation and fantasy these films are easily missed.
5) Have you written about the movie yourself? (Insert plug here! LOL )
Thanks Bruce! My Review is below!
“Spirited Away” tells the story of Chihiro, a young girl who is moving with her family to their new home. On the way, they get turned off onto a dirt road… at the end is a strange building with a long tunnel. Her parents decide to explore it, in spite of Chihiro’s protests. Walking through the tunnel, the family discovers what they believe to be an abandoned amusement park. There, they come upon a food stand with an enormous variety of hot food waiting to be eaten. Chihiro is afraid, and won’t eat any, but the mother and father happily sit down and begin digging in.
Unfortunately, the place they’ve discovered is no abandoned amusement park, it’s actually an alternate reality, full of magical creatures, and they’ve happened upon a bathhouse controlled by the greedy witch Yubaba. After eating, Chihiro’s parents are transformed into pigs. Thankfully, she runs into a boy named Haku, who points her in the right direction in order to stay safe and begin her quest. If she ever wants to go home again, Chihiro must work for the witch Yubaba in an effort to find a way to reverse the transformation on her family.
As with all Studio Ghibli films, “Spirited Away” is gorgeously animated, and astonishingly imaginative. In her trip to the spirit world, Chihiro finds a cacophony of odd creatures that simply defy description. Walking, talking toads, bouncing disembodied heads, gluttonous ghosts in tiki masks and an enormous, pudgy, violent baby. She’s befriended by the six-armed Kamaji and his army of soot spider workers, and Haku the half dragon, half boy/living river.
As with other Miyazaki films, it’s a simple story on the highest level, but filled with so many detailed facets and intricacies via the characters and the world that it feels complicated. There are numerous themes to explore, from the greed and avarice of the evil characters in the film, to the coming of age aspect of the heroine’s journey. Chihiro begins the film as a clumsy, frightened young girl, but in order to rescue her parents and protect her new friends, she’ll find her confidence and stand up for what’s right.
Somehow, Miyazaki is able to fill his films with a warmth and heart that translate clearly to the viewer. It’s impossible to watch one and not feel the love and affection that went into making it. The lead character is highly emotive, and you simply can’t help but root for her to free her family and save the day. I’m not certain that I latched on to this one quite as strongly as I did with “Howl’s Moving Castle” or “Nausicaa”, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still an excellent, excellent film. Thanks for the recommendation, Bruce!!