Spirited away is an enchanting, dazzling, and gorgeously drawn fairy tale that will leave the viewers a little more curious and fascinated by the world around them. This Japanese animated fantasy film was directed and written by Hayao Miyazaki, and was released on July 27, 2001. The story was based on Miyazaki’s friend’s ten year old daughter, who visited his house every summer. The movie portrays a sullen ten year old girl, Chihiro Ogino (voice by Daveigh Chase), and her parents who were driving to their new home, when her father takes a wrong turn and ends up at what they think is an abandoned amusement park, but really is an alternate reality inhabited by monsters and spirits. Witch Yubaba turns her parents into pigs, and in order to find a way to free herself and her parents and escape into the human world, Chihiro takes a job working at Yubaba’s bathhouse. This movie can compare to ‘Alice in the Wonderland’ because they both tell the story of a 10-year-old girl who wanders into a world of strange creatures and illogical rules.
It was a little hard to interpret the meaning and moral of the movie at first, but it was still a pleasure to watch. The cinematography was well done and the animations were well flowing and seemed to dance off the screen. Director Miyazaki’s drawing style is incredible, and is much different from classical Japanese graphic artists, with its clear lines, rich detail, subtle uses of colors, and the realistic deception of fantastic elements. The music in this film was composed and conducted by Miyazaki’s regular collaborator Joe Hisaishi, and performed by the New Japan Philharmonic. The music was beautifully put together, and in the special features of the DVD, Hayao Miyazaki explains how the song in fact inspired him to create Spirited Away. Therefore, I give this film an A-, and Spirited away is a work of pagan imagination that everyone should watch it.