This film is enjoyable at face value for its sheer imagination but it also makes you think, which is a considerable point in its favor, particularly when compared to some of the mindless drivel which passes for box office entertainment these days. While it is made in the style of a children's fairy tale, there are underlying themes alluding to the good and bad of human nature and the obstacles one faces on the road from childhood to maturity. The story has depth but also a certain innocence, reminiscent of a child who is unaware that he wise beyond his years.
An awesome effort from Miyazaki and a definite must-see for all audiences. One small recommendation...unless you find that reading subtitles severely hampers your enjoyment of a film, I'd absolutely go with the Japanese-dubbed version. It's how the original was intended and there are confirmed alterations to the English-dubbed version.
Beautiful story of forced honor and the price others pay for someone else's transgression. Keep an eye out for the love story, it's easy to miss it but adds one more dimension to make the film that much better.
Directed by animation legend Hayao Miyazaki, SPIRITED AWAY is the tale of Chihiro (voiced by Daveigh Chase), a young girl who is taken down an unusual road by her parents while moving to a new home in an unfamiliar town. The curiosity of Chihiro's mother (Lauren Holly) and father (Michael Chiklis) leads the reluctant child into what appears to be an abandoned amusement park. Soon her parents are greedily feasting on various delights from an enticing food stand and are literally turned into pigs. The frightened and bewildered girl then encounters a young man named Haku (Jason Marsden), who explains what she must do to navigate this strange and magical realm. Finding employment in a bathhouse for spirits and other odd characters--including kimono-wearing frogs, lumbering tentacled monsters, and a mysterious apparition named No Face--Chihiro attempts to figure out how she can free her parents from the clutches of the resort's owner, a powerful witch named Yubaba (Suzanne Pleshette). In the process, she make...