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Spirited Away [2003] - 5.98

The highest grossing film in Japanese box-office history, Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away (Sen To Chihiro Kamikakushi) is a dazzling film that reasserts the power of drawn animation to create fantasy worlds. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Lewis Carroll's Alice, Chihiro plunges into an alternate reality. On the way to their new home, the petulant adolescent and her parents find what they think is a deserted amusement park. Her parents stuff themselves until they turn into pigs, and Chihiro discovers they're trapped in a resort for traditional Japanese gods and spirits. An oddly familiar boy named Haku instructs Chihiro to request a job from Yubaba, the greedy witch who rules the spa. As she works, Chihiro's untapped qualities keep her from being corrupted by the greed that pervades Yubaba's mini-empire. In a series of fantastic adventures, she purges a river god suffering from human pollution, rescues the mysterious No-Face, and befriends Yubaba's kindly twin, Zeniba. The resolve, bravery and love Chihiro discovers within herself enable her to aid Haku and save her parents. The result is a moving and magical journey, told with consummate skill by one of the masters of contemporary animation. --Charles Solomon

Customer reviews (av rating: 5.0):

Rating: 5:
Wonderful : as a young writer, i am always looking for ideas to capture my readers and hook them in and it is quite hard to say the least, but when i saw this film, i fell in love with it at the very beginning. i always write about fantasy and magic, and as you would think, this film was just perfect for me. humour, depth and if you have seen it more than once,you would know, love is most probably the center of the film. highly reccomended for any veiwers

Rating: 4:
A wacky and exciting movie : I was stunned at how good this film was. It was strange but exciting and thrilling nonetheless. The idea of some greedy parents turning into pigs was funny. This is really an amazing, wacky film. This is a brilliant movie for the family. 4 out of 5. Two thumbs up.

Rating: 5:
Simply Amazing! : An amazing film!
Just watch it - all i can say
A must for anyones dvd collection.

Rating: 5:
Disney Take Note : During the 1960s Manga artist Shigeru Mizuki introduced many to Japanese folklore with his beautifully crafted and surreal images of the Yokai,spirits or demons with spiritual or supernatural powers.In 2005 Takashi Miike "fleshed out" this class of Obake but seemed to lose the dreamlike quality opting for a more humourous approach in his film The Great Yokai War,while this film certainly succeeds on many levels it does not realise that animation is possibly the only medium that can properly bring these apparitions to life.
Hayao Miyazaki struck gold when Miramax released Princess Monoke in 1999 becoming the highest grossing film(until Titanic later in the same year),it is therefore more amazing that he could surpass this acheivement with the animated mastepiece Spirited Away.
Chihiro a young girl is moving house with her parents when her father decides to explore a mysterious tunnel leading to an abandoned theme park,unknown to them it is an entrance to the spirit world ,a Yokai bathhouse.
A more detailed description on this moving and masterful story would only serve to spoil a truly great cinematic experience needless to say that this Dvd is thorougly recommended.
Closing comments:
Miyazaki has created a film that insists to be viewed more than once, his attention to detail is exquisite(watching the background antics of the rat and bird in its self is a mini movie ).
There are no truly bad guys and the directors use of the bathhouse as a metaphor of imperial Japan is not harse of forced with all characters possesing reedeeming qualities,this adds to its slightly ambiguous nature.To conclude BUY AND LOVE!!!!

Rating: 3:
Had High Expectations but ultimately dissappointed : I had very High expectations of this film I love Howls Moving Castle, Naussicca and Princess Mononoke but in the end I feel disappointed with Spirited Away. I didn't enjoy it that much I could not see what was so amazing/incredible about it I found certain scenes to be drawn out and overly long the story doesn't stand out for me either. I just don't know what it is I just don't like Spirited Away I feel like I should like it/love it based on what everybody else says but I don't which is a shame because Studio Ghibli films are truly incredible. At the end of spirited away I couldn't help but feel like what was the point in that!!!! Thus It gets 3 stars for me and is my least favourite studio ghibli film I have seen so far.

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