I have passed over this movie far too long and need to give credit and praise to Hayao Miyazaki’s multi-award winning classic, Spirited Away. I am so impressed by this film that if asked to produce a top ten animated films of all time list, Spirited Away would take the number one seat, hands down. I stand in company of quite a few others who feel this way as the film’s credits include being the most successful film in Japanese history, Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the Golden Bear Award and ranked in the top ten of the British Film Institute’s list of the 50 films you should see by the age of fourteen. Studio Ghibli continues to bring their audiences superb films and this one stands as a leader amongst them.
Illustrated with the same quality style as classics like Princess Mononoke and Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away (original title Chihiro no kmikakushi) is a fantasy tale about the adventures of a young girl named Chihiro Ogino (English dub voice performed by Daveigh Chase). Chihiro is moving with her parents to a new town and stops along the way to rest at an abandoned amusement park. Her parents are transformed into pigs by a witch named Yubaba (English dub voice performed by Suzanne Pleshette) leaving the young girl to wander about in a world of spirits and strange characters in an effort to restore her parents back to human form. She is befriended by a young boy named Haku, who helps her along the spirited world and holds a secret himself (which I won’t give away). The perseverance of Chihiro is heroic and humorous to watch making this an enjoyable movie for viewers of all ages. Keep in mind that the very young may be somewhat frightened by characters like Yubaba the witch or Kamaji the six armed man, but those who focus on the young girl note her composure throughout her adventure and feel no threat from the strange inhabitants.
If you have not seen this movie yet, do so by all means. If you have watched it, watch it again and enjoy; this tale is as good the second time around.