March 26, 2014 by Welcome to the Jungle
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Studio Ghibli (2001)
Spirited Away starts with a ten year old girl Chihiro, played by Daveigh Chase, who is in the process of moving the suburbs with her parents, played by Michael Chiklis and Lauren Holly, when they make a wrong turn and end up being lost in the middle of nowhere. Not realizing they’ve mistakenly gone the wrong way, the family of three nearly crashes into a statue places in front of a long and mysterious tunnel. Curious of the newfound place, Chihiro’s mom and dad exit the car to explore the mysterious tunnel. Not wanting to be alone, Chihiro follows. Once they get to the other end of the tunnel they find a little, what seems to be, abandoned village. Splitting up with her parents to explore, she gets a bad feeling from the village and then goes to find her parents. When she finds them, she discovers that her parents mistakenly ate some food they weren’t supposed to eat, and have then been turned into big, fat, pigs.
Scared, Chihiro tries to find someone to help her to turn her parents back human. However, her search doesn’t go quite as planned. In her search she comes across a young boy named Haku, played by Jason Marsden, who warns her to return across the river, in which she came across while exploring the village, before sunset. Unable to cross back over, because of her parents, Chihiro then becomes trapped in a mysterious spirit world which is the village.
Through the film Chihiro is faced with many adventures and difficult decisions in order to save her parents and return home.
It’s hard to pick one specific part of the movie that stands out for me, because the whole movie is filled with mysterious people and hilarious moments. But if I had to pick one my favorite part would be when Chihiro discovers the true identity of who Haku really is. This part isn’t as funny as the rest of the movie, which I enjoy. The scene really shows the love that Chihiro and Haku have for each other, and it really ties the movie all together.
The film is filled with all sorts of interesting characters, like No-Face, which are all amazing special effects. Although the film is animated, you are still able to see the objects and people they really wanted to focus on and put a lot of detail into. I thought that the animation was very good, even compared to some of the animated film we have today. Another thing I enjoyed was the soundtrack. Unlike some movies, the soundtrack wasn’t in your face. It mostly faded into the background so you could enjoy the acting and focus more on what the actors have to say.
The movie was made generally for young children, however I think that a lot of older kids enjoyed the movie even more then the younger ones did. I don’t think that an adult would enjoy the movie as much, partly because it’s an English adaption of the original film. If you enjoy animated films with a twist, then I think you would really enjoy watching Spirited Away just as I have. No matter how many times my younger sister makes me watch it, I never get sick of it, and I don’t think I ever will.
MS is a seventeen year old high school student who really enjoys Studio Ghibli movies.