How does Hayao Miyazaki do it? He dishes up masterpieces, one by one,
and never misses a beat. Spirited Away, his latest animated
feature, will go down in the record books with the rest of his
films, as one of the most magically beautiful pieces ever witnessed
in cinema. Watching it on the small screen, I mystically gazed at
the beautiful work of art, that I missed out on in theatres. This is
how an animated film should be done. Flawlessly made and visually
enhancing to watch, Spirited Away shows us the value of a
good imagination. This movie is astounding; plain and simple.
Viewing it is like buying a ticket to a special sneak preview of
heaven. Miyazaki has, yet again, accomplished the unthinkable.
American distribution companies are weird.
Here in the states, a film can completely bomb, and the same
studio’s next project will be another exactly like it. Spirited
Away failed at the box-office because of its poor distribution.
It was left the victim of a small release, because of the
inadequacies of Disney. As a result, it was left with a puny gross
of nine million dollars. This is pathetic, considering that it was
the biggest money-maker of all time in its home country, Japan.
Disney gave the biggest money-loser of two-thousand-two, Treasure
Planet, a wide release. Why shouldn’t they have taken that same
risk on Spirited Away? This film received the proper buzz,
but most of the people who wanted to see it, weren’t able to. I only
hope, for Miyazaki’s sake, that it salvages some of the money that it
deserves through DVD sales and rentals.
The quality of the English dub-job is
first-rate. While I do, as always, prefer the original Japanese
recording—this is the best dub an anime film has ever received. The
reason for this is clear. Miyazaki, himself, picked out all of the
voice actors for the English version of the film. Being
multilingual, he clearly understood the different emotions in the
film, which needed to be translated perfectly, in order to keep it
as magical as it originally was. As a whole, the native-version is
better-done, but I must admit that I prefer some of the character’s
English voices over their Japanese representations. This is most
evident in one of my favorite personalities in the film, a man named
Haku. Haku shows the heroine of the film, Chihiro, through the
mystical spirit world in which it is set, created by Miyazaki.
It’s easy to fall in love with Spirited
Away. To be struck by its beautiful power, all you must do is
look at the wondrous animation. Almost all of the frames are
hand-drawn, and Miyazaki, who paints thousands of them himself, has
just started to utilize small bits of computer animation. What’s
even more fascinating is comparing the scenery to that of a Disney
or Pixar production. There is so much more detail in this genre of
animation than in most American-made children’s movies. In anime,
depression, sickness, and evil exist. They are never ignored.
Instead of creating completely harmonious worlds, Miyazaki paints us
portraits of characters overcoming the hardships that appear on
earth. He shows us the beauty of this, which is absolutely amazing.
Contrived of excellence, Spirited Away
crafts a tale that is far too magical to explain in too much depth,
in any kind of review. Everyone must experience this spectacular
work for themselves, so they are able to appreciate it. I’m not even
sure that this piece of writing should be called an evaluation. This
is a film that is far too amazing to review. I’m ready to write a
retrospective on it, and begin reminiscing on the joy that it
brought my soul while viewing it. This is not a joke. Spirited
Away is this fantastic. If it were up to me, I would personally
show it to every human-being on the planet. It is one of the rare
treasures in cinema that is simply extravagant and emotionally
pleasing to watch. Spirited Away is one of the best movies of
-Danny, Bucket Reviews