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Spirited Away DVD

Spirited Away DVD Starring: Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, et al.
Director: Iain Softley
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Matthew Pursley' Review

Your body matches your brain.

As I said in my title, this is a wonderful movie. I mean that literally. It is full of a sense of wonder. As you may have gathered from other reviews, a girl and her parents manage to accidentally stumble into the Japanese spirit world. More specifically, they stumble into a bath house/resort where the spirits and magical creatures of Japan go to relax and unwind. I'll reveal this much of the plot: through their own careless actions, her parents are cursed, and it is up to the young heroine to save them. That's all the plot you'll get out of me. In praise of the film, the animation is fluid and beautifully detailed, the dreamy music always fits the mood of the film, and the voice acting (where some animes fall flat) is quite good. Despite the occasionally sinister or downright malevolent goings on, Spirited Away manages to maintain a feel of innocent wonder. I think the secret to this is the heroine, who is just a normal little girl placed into an extraordinary situation. She's no warrior princess with miles of attitude, or a magical maiden with hidden powers. She's just a girl, small and not very strong, but she has a good heart and enough personal strength to muddle through as well as she can. This film somehow put me in a good mood for the rest of the day, and is easily one of the best animated films I've seen in well over a year. If you can catch it at the cinema, do so! It's well worth the price of tickets.

EDITED . . .: Just as an extra bit of information, a day or two after I saw this movie, I went home from college for the weekend to spend some time with my parents, and got them to go and see it again with me. I enjoyed it just as much as I did at the first viewing, and my parents loved it.

From Amazon.com

Amazon.com Editorial Review

The highest grossing film in Japanese box-office history (more than $234 million), Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away (Sen To Chihiro Kamikakushi) is a dazzling film that reasserts the power of drawn animation to create fantasy worlds. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Lewis Carroll's Alice, Chihiro (voice by Daveigh Chase--Lilo in Disney's Lilo & Stitch) plunges into an alternate reality. On the way to their new home, the petulant adolescent and her parents find what they think is a deserted amusement park. Her parents stuff themselves until they turn into pigs, and Chihiro discovers they're trapped in a resort for traditional Japanese gods and spirits. An oddly familiar boy named Haku (Jason Marsden) instructs Chihiro to request a job from Yubaba (Suzanne Pleshette), the greedy witch who rules the spa. As she works, Chihiro's untapped qualities keep her from being corrupted by the greed that pervades Yubaba's mini-empire. In a series of fantastic adventures, she purges a river god suffering from human pollution, rescues the mysterious No-Face, and befriends Yubaba's kindly twin, Zeniba (Pleshette again). The resolve, bravery, and love Chihiro discovers within herself enable her to aid Haku and save her parents. The result is a moving and magical journey, told with consummate skill by one of the masters of contemporary animation. MPAA Rated: PG ("Some scary moments")

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