Spirited Away

Spirited Away

4.9 191
Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Cast: Hayao Miyazaki, Daveigh Chase, Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino

     
 

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Master animation director Hayao Miyazaki follows up on his record-breaking 1997 opus Princess Mononoke with this surreal Alice in Wonderland-like tale about a lost little girl. The film opens with ten-year-old Chihiro riding along during a family outing as her father races through remote country roads. When they come upon a blocked tunnel, her parentsSee more details below

Overview

Master animation director Hayao Miyazaki follows up on his record-breaking 1997 opus Princess Mononoke with this surreal Alice in Wonderland-like tale about a lost little girl. The film opens with ten-year-old Chihiro riding along during a family outing as her father races through remote country roads. When they come upon a blocked tunnel, her parents decide to have a look around -- even though Chihiro finds the place very creepy. When they pass through the tunnel, they discover an abandoned amusement park. As Chihiro's bad vibes continue, her parents discover an empty eatery that smells of fresh food. After her mother and father help themselves to some tasty purloined morsels, they turn into giant pigs. Chihiro understandably freaks out and flees. She learns that this very weird place, where all sorts of bizarre gods and monsters reside, is a holiday resort for the supernatural after their exhausting tour of duty in the human world. Soon after befriending a boy named Haku, Chihiro learns the rules of the land: one, she must work , as laziness of any kind is not tolerated; and two, she must take on the new moniker of Sen. If she forgets her real name, Haku tells her, then she will never be permitted to leave.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
In March 2003, writer-director-animator Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away became the first Japanese anime film to ever win (let alone to be nominated for) an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Rightfully so: The unique distillation of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and Japanese folklore offers a sense of magic that has been sorely lacking in much recent animation. A ten-year-old girl named Chihiro, while passing through a strange abandoned village on her way to her new home, finds her greedy parents transformed into pigs after being tempted by delicious food. In order for them to become human again, Chihiro must work in a surreal bathhouse for monsters, spirits, and other supernatural critters, under the supervision of a witch named Yubaba. Along the way, Chihiro learns the virtues of bravery, self-worth, and humility while making new friends -- including a boy named Haku, who wields hidden powers -- and overcoming obstacles, such as the mysterious, money-offering No Face. Endlessly imaginative and beautifully realized, Spirited Away is a dreamlike experience, bolstered by Joe Hayashi's moving score and Miyazaki's mix of traditional animation and subtle computer graphics. Suitable for the whole family but also containing enough substance for continued study, it is nothing less than a new animation classic. Volk Lindsay
All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
This fantasy adventure combines the magic of Alice in Wonderland and Wizard of Oz with a wildly imaginative critique of consumption in contemporary times. With Spirited Away, master animator Hayao Miyazaki unifies elements of his previous works: the youthful innocence of My Neighbor Totoro, the independence lessons of Kiki's Delivery Service, and the powerful grown-up forces of the spirit world from Princess Mononoke. Introducing a huge number of creatures, the spirit world Chihiro stumbles into is nothing short of amazing. Using sparse computer animation in his previous feature-length film, Miyazaki experiments with a lot of CGI software for this dizzying journey, which mostly takes place in fantastical spirit bathhouse. The effects are put to good use as characters hold powers that enable them to change form into beings like bats and dragons. Bizarre creatures overpopulate the film, with everything from tiny spider-like workers to giant radish spirits. Although sometimes resorting to gross-out humor, the tale is really the most traditional of fantasy adventure stories. The plucky Chihiro starts out as such an average spoiled 20th century youngster and develops into a self-confident hero. Not overly cute or smart, she is just a kid that has to learn to survive. Beyond this seemingly simplistic narrative are fully nuanced characters, rousing action, and a weird fantasy construction of capitalism that hits home at a very base level. Although not exactly a satire, greed figures into the narrative as a driving force that demands choices from the hero. The result is a memorable and captivating journey, marking a high point in the director's career as well as duly serving the underestimated population of people that Miyazaki frequently portrays: ten-year-old girls.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/15/2003
UPC:
0786936213850
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
PG
Source:
Walt Disney Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Daveigh Chase Chihiro [USA Version]
Rumi Hiiragi Chihiro
Miyu Irino Haku
Jason Marsden Haku [USA Version]
Mari Natsuki Yubaba/Zeniba
Suzanne Pleshette Yubaba/Zeniba [USA Version]
Susan Egan Lin [USA Version]
Yumi Tamai Lin
Yasuka Sawaguchi Chihiro's mother, Yugo
David Ogden Stiers Boiler Room Man [USA Version]
Tatsuya Gasyuin Frog man
Lauren Holly Chihiro's mother [USA Version]
Michael Chiklis Chihiro's father [USA Version]
Ryunosuke Kamiki Boh
Takashi Naito Chihiro's father, Akio
John Ratzenberger The Bathhouse Manager [USA Version]
Yo Oizumi Foreman of the frog men
Tara Strong Baby Boh
Koba Hayashi River God
Tsunehiko Kamijyo School principal
Takehiko Ono Employee
Bunta Sugawara Kamaji
Yumi Kimura Singer

Technical Credits
Hayao Miyazaki Director,Screenwriter
Hironori Aihara Executive Producer
Donald W. Ernst Producer
Cindy Davis Hewitt Screenwriter
Donald H. Hewitt Screenwriter
Joe Hisaishi Score Composer
Linda Hoaglund Translator
Koji Hoshino Executive Producer
Jim Hubbert Translator
Shuji Inoue Sound/Sound Designer
Michihiro Ito Special Effects
Lori Korngiebel Associate Producer
John Lasseter Executive Producer
Takeyoshi Matsushita Executive Producer
Masayuki Miyagi Asst. Director
Yutaka Narita Executive Producer
Takeshi Seyama Editor
Toshio Suzuki Producer
Atsushi Takahashi Asst. Director
Kazuhiro Takeshige Sound/Sound Designer
Yasuyoshi Tokuma Executive Producer
Banjiro Uemura Executive Producer
Seiichiro Ujie Executive Producer

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