Spirited Away is an animated film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli and released in 2001. It is about a young girl moving into a new town, but an unplanned detour by her parents causes them to end up in a strange spirit world. Her parents are turned into pigs, and the little girl finds herself in the employ of a witch who owns a bathhouse for the spirits. Everywhere the little girl turns there is danger, but also fascinating excitement.
I first saw the movie shortly after it came out in the USA with my friends who were huge anime geeks. I enjoyed it and noticed that it had a lot in common with Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. After repeat viewings, I began to like it more and more.
- The whole movie makes you feel frightened, alone, and helpless, but at the same time being amazed and in awe.
- The backgrounds throughout the entire movie art gorgeous.
- The character design is also fantastic. Everything is very exotic and unlike anything you'd expect.
- The locations are very exciting. There is always a hint of danger, and you never feel very comfortable with where you are.
- The characters all have depth. Nobody is 2D stereotype, even the villains are relatable and interesting.
- The part where Chihiro remembers Haku's true name is a wonderful scene.
- The movie has a really good ending.
- Like all Japanese animation, the frame rate is too low. It's certainly higher than any other anime I've seen, but still far less than it could be.
- Chihiro is a bit too pathetic at times.
- The movie gets a little dull near the end when Chihiro goes to visit Zeniba.