Go see SPIRITED AWAY right now!

I’m way behind in my movie going and just saw Spirited Away this week. It is an out and out masterpiece! I don’t know anything about Anime (even how to spell it, for sure) but this is one great movie. A true cinematic work of art.

It was originally released last fall, but the distributor (Disney) apparently did very little promotion and only put it on a small number of screens. It won the Oscar the other week for best animated film, and was re-released to cash in, I suppose. I cannot urge you too strongly to seek it out and see it this week. It is supposed to be released on DVD on April 15. I don’t know if it will stay in theaters after that. (Anybody remember a new film playing at the theater and being available for rental at the Blockbuster around the corner at the same time?) While it will certainly be wonderful to watch at home (I’ve already pre-ordered it from Amazon) seeing it on the big screen is best. This is true of most any film, I guess, but Spirited Away’s artwork is so beautiful, you’ll want to see it projected bigger than life.

It’s too bad that Disney didn’t put the advertising budget behind this film, instead of, say, a mediocre film like Treasure Planet. If you have a kid in this country (USA) and you’re looking for a movie, they’re gonna’ beg to see things like What A Girl Wants or Piglet’s Big Movie or Agent Cody Banks, depending on their age. When you suggest Spirited Away, they’re gonna’ go blank because it hasn’t been hammered into there impressionable little heads by publicity. This is a shame. Take them anyway, you’ll both be glad.

If others wish to hijack this to talk about the film itself, let’s do it.
Of course, you’ll have to see it first. When you come back here to thank me, I’ll be waiting.

PS. Don’t confuse Spirited Away with Swept Away (Madonna’s movie) of that heavily promoted animated horse movie, Spirit something or other.

We took the kids to it in November.
I have pretty youngins’- not many kids in the theatre to begin with, but ours were the youngest- but the both enjoyed it (they’ve both seen Totoro and Kiki’s), and the cool thing was, the Hub and I both thought it was one of the best movie’s we’ve seen too! The Hub even commented that if all kid movies were like that one, he’d be willing to take the kids more often!

Absolute brilliance- I’m so glad it won the Oscar, and not some other silly kiddy flick- and, of course, I’ve seem 'em all!

And, yes, when we told other that we had seen Spirited Away, they all thought it was Spirit!

I second (or third) the recommendation to see this show. And try to see the Japanese verison, not a dubbed one (and of course with English subtitles!).

My girlfriend and I saw this a few months ago. It was really, really. . .ok. The animation was good, and the story started out good but it seemed to drag on for too long and failed on almost every level to hold my intrest.

It wasn’t that I thought it was bad. I just didn’t think it was great. Can someone describe (besides maybe the animation) what was special at all about this movie?

I finally got to see it yesterday. It really frustrated me in the fall to hear people sing its praises, since it never made an appearance anywhere around here. (although I did hear yesterday that they did show it 4 times, for $12, one weekend in the fall at the Music Hall) Now that’s it’s been “rereleased” they’re finally advertising it. I’m glad I finally saw it, it’s one of the best animated movies I’ve ever seen.

Cisco IMO it was the plot. Some people like ghosts, dragons, magic and fantasy a lot. I’m one of those people. I would have liked it as a book as well, although I did like the animation.

I missed it when it was around the last time so I finally saw it Friday night with two other people. We constituted the entire audience.

How sad. I loved it… a traditional story with a lot of twists along the way. I want a little sootball toy!

I saw it Friday, too, and loved it. Things I liked about it:

-The animation. Duh.
-The lack of a real bad guy. Characters were more or less malevolent, but nobody in the movie is an out-and-out villain, and nobody gets tromped. This seems different from almost all Hollywood kids’ movies, in which there’s an obvious bad guy.
-Interesting moralization. It seems like most kids’ flicks teach the value of independence, cleverness, diversity, and so on, and this one was the same – but it also really emphasizes the value of compassion, as well as the value of doing hard work without complaining. I thought that was an interesting focus.
-Much more like a fairy tale than most Disney fairy-tale movies. “Go down the stairway, perform this act, make this request, and don’t take no for an answer, or else bad things will happen!” Total fairy-tale instructions.
On the other hand, a coworker took my advice to go see the movie, and took her 3-year-old son. He hated it (understandably, IMO – it’s not a 3-year-old movie), and she therefore didn’t like it much either. Ah, well.


I definately loved the movie. I think I liked Princess Mononoke a smidge better though. In all reality, you cant compare the two though. I went into see Spirited Away thinking that it was going to be a “normal” movie, but was pleasantly suprised when it wassnt. It had a charm to it that I haddnt seen in other forms of entertainment before. I’m definately getting the DVD

This is one of the few movies in which I’ve actually cared about the underlying theme. Frankly, I go to movies to be entertained, not to be encouraged to think, but the themes of dislocation, alienation, and loss of identity in Spirited Away really hit home. If I’ve properly translated the original title–Sen and the Mysterious Disappearance of Chihiro–I much prefer it.

On top of that, the animation is beautiful, the characters engaging, and the plot interesting. What’s not to love?

I saw Spirited Away on Saturday, and liked it, but what the Sam Hill was going on with that ending? I lost it when “No Face” decided to stay with Twin Sister since he is such a good sewer. And mewl! And sew! And mewl! WTF?

Maybe No Face is a character with no identity of his own, adopting, instead, the characteristics of those around him? Thus he is kind and giving when interacting with Chihiro and greedy and obsessed with the act of consumption when in the land of excess that was the bathhouse?

And maybe, upon encountering the undemanding companionship of Zeniba decided he preferred it to the life of isolation and “invisibility” which he was leading prior to meeting Chihiro?

Yeah, I don’t get it either. :smiley:

  • KKB, who enjoyed this movie more than any jaded 20-something should


I saw it a couple of weeks ago, and loved it. Noh Face’s character especially intrigued me. My friend’s opinion was that Noh Face was the personification of greed, but he can only hurt those who exhibited that property - when he gave things to the people of the bath house, that made him able to hurt them; he tried to give things to Sen/Chihiro, but she never took them, so he couldn’t hurt her. But that doesn’t explain Noh Face’s actions after Sen/Chihiro left the bath house to find Zeniba and make Hoku better. I like KKBattousai’s idea.

My Daughter and I saw it two weeks ago. Superb. We love Totoro and Kiki too. Must get the DVD.

I would have enjoyed it even more without the:
Advertisements, Latecomers, and Mother with noisy candy wrappers & Coughing child behind me (thanks mom, how about YOU get the DVD and keep sick-boy at home)

But I did have an interesting meeting with a river spirit by the Shenandoah this week.

I really enjoyed it, but one thing has been bothering me.

What was the deal with the 3 green heads in the witch’s room? Other then to be there and be wierd?

I think KKB is dead-on about Noh-Face. It fits with the themes I mentioned earlier–Noh-Face has no identity of its own. It only has the mask, so it takes on the identity of those around it–remember that it had no voice until it swallowed the frog and took his voice. Amidst the greed of the bathhouse, it became greed incarnate…until Sen’s presence overcame it. Then it took on her generous nature and her determination to help. Once exposed to Zeniba, it took on her desire for a quiet, kindly life.

I would swear that I’ve seen a similar, but darker (almost gaki-like), Noh-mask creature in something else, but I haven’t found a reference.

The three green heads are like the silent ‘yes heads’ to the witch.

I saw it the other day and thought it was good. I was expecting more fantastical elements, such as when Chihiro first meets the boy (sorry, I forgot his name) and he does that blowing thing. Yeah, that (the blowing thing) was cool. I though that there would be more emphasis on things of that sort. The animation was very good, of course; and the story was somewhat (only somewhat) lacking; but it’s definently unlike any movie I’ve ever seen. It was a feel-good movie to me, but a more deeply affecting feel-good movie. I will be buying the DVD.

Actually, this will seem somewhat strange, but this is how I recalled the movie. It was like hearing a song like others that I’ve heard before, but the new song resonates satisfyingly and is melodic. I don’t know. I guess it was the combonation of the music, colors, and slightly fantastical storyline. It gave a message that the world is sometimes frustrating, sometimes lonely, and sometimes frightening; but is presented in a way that wasn’t heavily depressing. It gives me a slight recollection of childhood when I learned important truths, but was too carefree to do anything but make it instinct and move on.

Yeah, I agree, see the movie. Don’t expect to be stunned, only perhaps content.


I liked the film quite a lot though I don’t think it’s as good as Princess Mononoke. I though the last 15 minutes or so was a loose; a little sappy and not entirely coherent.

Like with most Miyazaki films the artwork is marvellous and enjoyable in its own right; in particular the design of the buildings and some of the characters (loved the three talking heads!). This is a quality that I don’t find much in Disney where the animation is technically stunning but the artwork lacks the depth of Miyazaki’s or Takahata’s films.

I still say Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind is Miyazaki’s best*. No one can do for flying machines what he can!

I liked Spirited Away even more than I liked Princess Mononoke, just for the fantastic nature of the setting; that, and I found it less preachy than Mononoke

… althought the scene with the sludge-filled River Spirit wasn’t exactly what I would call “subtle.”

[sub]* Cagliostro Castle doesn’t count because those are Monkey Punch’s characters, not Miyazaki’s.[/sub]