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This, along with Howl have the best character design imaginable.
I also love the theme tune that runs throughout both movies. The one for Spirited Away is very beautiful and sad.
It's a film that demands to be seen over and over, there is so much to take in the first time, you will be amazed by how much more you get the second time round.
After Nausicaä of the valley of the wind, Castle in the sky, Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki returns with Spirited Away and he just doesn't disappoint. Miyazaki put's all his heart and effort in making the film and he does it so well that we forget the foolishness of the plot (In this case the story is about a girl who gets lost in a s
pirit world and her parents are turned to pigs…) Wait, I don't want a kiddish movie like that! Yeah OK you don't want to. But then what makes Spirited away especially brilliant?
Miyazaki was on a holiday with his friends when he noticed one of his friend's daughter who caught his attention. That girl had an I-don't-care kind of expression and Miyazaki decided to make a film for these kind of people who just don't care about anything interesting that happens in their lives. The opening scene itself proves this when we see Chihiro, our heroine, sitting in the back-seat of a car whilst moving to a new place. But she just doesn't care about her new home, her new school and her new life… Miyazaki also made Chihiro look dull, in short not very pretty or beautiful. So the magic actually begins here: The audience too has that kind of the same emotions like Chihiro does (that's the case every time you go to a film). And then suddenly the film becomes kinetic, full of energy. Chihiro is filled with fear as she becomes trapped in the world of spirits and her parents gone (not dead). And then what follows is a rich story full of interesting characters, an amazing score from Joe Hisaishi, incredible animation that no one can deny and lastly numerous thrilling moments that made my heart pound really fast.
The characters especially have been given a royal and complex treatment, making the film quite unpredictable. Ubaba, the owner of a bath-house for spirits who employs Chihiro, is the antagonist and her face itself tells us that easily. Haku is the one who helps Chihiro survive in the spirit world. The Boiler Man is another character who becomes a good friend of Chihiro and in another way helps her too. Then there's the most trickiest character, No Face or Kaonashi, who is a spirit. All these characters are the driving forces. They play their part perfectly and if this was a live-action film, I wouldn't have been surprised if the actors playing these characters were Oscar nominated. Though the film did win an Oscar for Best Animated film in 2002, the only anime to have done so…
So don't wait long and watch Miyazaki's magical masterpiece. It's so wonderful that we human beings can create so beautiful things using the same old techniques. Miyazaki is one of these artists (Even Joe Hisaishi, the composer) and they never stop making such stuff! Hat's off to the entire team of Studio Ghibli!
Zeniba: Once you do something, you never forget. Even if you can't remember.
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Currently in 37 official lists, but has been in 38