30 January 2007

Ink Blots XLIX - Spirited Away

Usually when viewing a movie for the first time, you can sort of know what to expect. I am not even talking about the endless number of sequels, prequels, adaptations, or spin-offs. There are just so many ideas in the world, and it seems like most movies are at least inspired by something else that you have already seen. When I first saw Spirited Away, I was taken to a new and fantastical place that I had never before seen. Writer and Director Hayao Miyazaki has created a unique and creative world, a new idea in a world of reruns.

To call it a "Japanese Alice in Wonderland" is a complete disservice, but there simply is not other way to give you a flavor for what this film, set in a land of wonder, is about. In the movie, the young girl Chihiro and her parents wander into a magical realm where the parents are turned into swine and Chihiro must accept a job in a bathhouse for spirits. She meets up with a grumpy witch Yubaba, a the creepy mute No Face, a giant baby, cute little soot sprites, and Haku, a boy who can transform into a dragon. I do not want to spoil any of the story but watching Chihiro struggle to find her way home takes you on an adventure unlike anything you have seen before. I promise.

The animation and music in this film are remarkable and beautiful. This film is a true masterpiece and though it earned the Academy Award for Best Animated Film in 2002, it should have won the overall best picture as it is much better than the winner Chicago. I know I am gushing, but I simply adore this film. Please, WATCH THIS MOVIE and find out why I love it so much. It is simply magical, and after you fall in love with this one, watch all the rest of the films produced by Studio Ghibli. They are all good, but this one being especially good earns an A+.

Miyazaki 3 Pack (Spirited Away/Castle in the Sky/Kiki's Delivery Service)

Howl's Moving Castle

Princess Mononoke

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