Friday, June 18, 2010

Spirited Away

(Yay! For my first post)

-- Spirited Away –

Directed by anime legend Hayao Miyazaki, Spirited Away is the tale of Chihiro, a young girl who is taken down an unusual road by her parents while moving to a new home in an unfamiliar home. The curiosity of Chihiro’s mother and father (who were based on two colleagues of Miyazaki’s) 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 (Seriously, shit looks good, makes me turn into a fat kid) and are literally turned into pigs. The frightened and bewildered girl then encounters a young man named Haku (quite attractive, I might add), 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 (HEHEHEHEH), 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 (Seriously, her head is huge, literally). In the process, she makes some very eccentric friends – and has to deal with some notoriously stinky customers (I imagine if you did work at a bathhouse, it can get pretty smelly sometimes).

Spirited Away reminds me of Lewis Carroll’s, ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Chihiro finds herself in the strange and wonderful world – making new friends, defeating enemies and growing up in the process. Chihiro’s character annoyed me in the beginning because she was whiny, pessimistic about moving to her new home and lazy (I’m sure some of us will admit that we were like that when we were children). You really watch Chihiro grow as a person inside and out. It’s beautiful! I love these kinds of movies when characters are on the road to self discovery!

The visuals in this movie are top notch. The artwork is amazingly detailed, character design makes the characters very much likeable and the scenery is just breathtaking. Dazzling and enchanting, I’m trying to find so many words to describe this piece of artwork.

Don’t be frightened by the tentacle monsters because, this is indeed a family film. Hayao Miyazaki is a storyteller and he targets the younger audience. It is indeed fun for the entire family.

I highly recommend it.