Spirited Away
Review by Ross Anthony

Delicate, mindful, as real as a dream, "Spirited Away" paints with a palate of colorful mineral spirits. Carefully astute to the actions and reactions of a 10 year old girl, the film captures the world real or not, the way she sees it.

Warm and inviting, then occasionally spooky; an early ghost scene may be a bit too menacing for some little children (I was spooked). The rest caters to all ages as Miyazaki says, "For the people who used to be ten years old and for the people who are going to be ten years old."

Little Chihiro, separated from her parents, stumbles into a lost world of spirits, floating, feasting and bathing; among them, she is the only being that is all good. The Spirited Awaycolorful characters that she befriends, fears, or affects seem never to be either all good or all bad, simply an interesting blend. YinYang personified.

Like Alice in wonderland, she quickly learns the rules of this mysterious world, then perseveres with an unwavering innocent love.

It's a beautiful experience, nearly perfect with a fragile flowing fluid score. The momentum too, fluid flowing, you'll be drawn into its current and taken upstream. There's only one rough bend in the river that occurs near the end. The idea of a test feels more contrived than stream inspired. But this temporary interruption in flow can no more sabotage the whole than a mosquito eat a pig.

From the man that brought us "Princess Mononoke," here's another film well worth seeing. Full of movement, fantasy, and adventure for the young; poetic and eerily both human and spiritual for adults.

"I don't have the story finished and ready when I start working on the film," Miyazaki says, "The story develops when I start drawing the story boards ... We never know where the story will go, but we keep working on the film as it develops."

US Producer John Lasseter notes, "We always record the dialogue before we create the animation, Miyazaki works the other way around. He always animates first then fits the dialogue to the performance."

  • Spirited Away. Copyright © 2002. Rated PG.
  • Starring the voices of Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Jason Marsden, Susan Egan, David Ogden Stiers, Lauren Holly, Michael, Chikles.
  • Written and Directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
  • US Director: Kirk Wise (of Beauty and the Beast fame).
  • US Producer: Donald W. Ernst at Disney.


Spirited Away

Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

chili4 special olympians
power5 ra hforh radiop

Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:54:10 PDT