Spirited Away: In A Land Of Ghosts

Spirited Away is a Japanese animated fantasy film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The film revolves around a young girl called Chihiro (Rumi Hiiragi), who becomes separated from her parents after they get turned into pigs and she gets trapped in the spirit world. The film details the friendship she forms with Haku Spirit of the Kohaku River as well as her effort to escape to the mortal world again and restore her normal life.

So, my Studio Ghibli odyssey has finally brought me to the big one, the one everyone talks about, one of if not the most important piece of Japanese animated cinema, well ever: I am of course referring to Spirited away.

I loved the world this film created, other Ghibli films have referred to and referenced the spirit world, but with this film we finally get to see it. What a sight it is, it is just so brimming with vibrancy and life, much like I have said about other Ghibli films, this film is a work of art each scene could easily be a painting if paused.

Chihiro or Sen as she is called in the spirit world is such a likeable protagonist, she is an easy character to root for and admire as she manages to hold her own when she goes to the spirt world, even though she is just a little girl.

Yubaba (Mari Natsuki), is the film’s villain an evil old witch/bird like creature that rules over the spirt world. She is responsible for turning Chihiro’s parents into pigs as well as for trapping Haku and pressing him to servitude. Much, like other Ghibli designs her character is haunting and the image of her turning into a bird chilled me and stayed with me long after the film ended.

Overall, this is a magnificent film, that is both beautiful to look at and beautiful to watch, the characters are done well, and villain is menacing. In every respect this film is a triumph.

Pros.

Beautiful animation.

Rich dense world.

Great characters.

A good menacing villain.

Cons.

It is far too long and could easily have been an hour and a half.

4/5

Reviewed by Luke

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