Spirited Away DVD movie collectible [Barcode 789636213843] - Main Image 1
Spirited Away
Living Room

Master animation director Hayao Miyazaki follows up on his record-breaking 1997 opus Princess Mononoke with this surreal Alice in Wonderland-like tale about a lost little girl. The film opens with ten-year-old Chihiro riding along during a family outing as her father races through remote country roads. When they come upon a blocked tunnel, her parents decide to have a look around -- even though Chihiro finds the place very creepy. When they pass through the tunnel, they discover an abandoned amusement park. As Chihiro’s bad vibes continue, her parents discover an empty eatery that smells of fresh food. After her mother and father help themselves to some tasty purloined morsels, they turn into giant pigs. Chihiro understandably freaks out and flees. She learns that this very weird place, where all sorts of bizarre gods and monsters reside, is a holiday resort for the supernatural after their exhausting tour of duty in the human world. Soon after befriending a boy named Haku, Chihiro learns the rules of the land: one, she must work , as laziness of any kind is not tolerated; and two, she must take on the new moniker of Sen. If she forgets her real name, Haku tells her, then she will never be permitted to leave.

Spirited Away

Young Chihiro goes on a incredible adventure.

Starring: Voices of Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette and David Ogden Stiers
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Rating: PG for very intense images and blood
Genre: Animation
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Discuss this film | Official movie site

If Lewis Carroll were alive today, and making movies instead of writing books, "Spirited Away” is the movie he’d make. Not since he sent Alice tumbling down that rabbit hole has there been such a rapturous mix of whimsy and the surreal.

Writer/director Hayao Miyazaki’s anime fantasy epic arrives laden with honors and huge grosses. It is the first animated film in the 50-year history of the prestigious Venice Film Festival to win the top prize. In Japan, the movie earned $230 million, dethroning "Titanic” as the country’s box office champ.
Miyazaki knows all the uses of enchantment. "Spirited Away” references everything from Grimms’ fairy tales to Greek myths as it plunges us into a world that gets curiouser and curiouser and curiouser.
Our Alice is 10-year-old Chihiro (expertly voiced by Daveigh Chase from "Lilo & Stitch”). Tucked into the back seat of her parents’ car, she refuses to be happy about the family’s move to a new suburban neighborhood. It’ll be an adventure, Mom and Dad insist.
Chihiro sulks.
It’ll be more of an adventure than they realize. Dad takes a wrong turn and comes upon what appears to be an abandoned theme park. Chihiro would rather stay in the car, but her folks want to explore. Finding a sumptuous unattended feast, they chow down. Anyone who remembers what the sorceress Circe did to Odysseus’ sailors can probably guess what happens next.
Chihiro passes on the food and wanders off to explore. When she returns, her parents have been horribly transformed -- and once the sun goes down, the park is transformed, too. It becomes filled with an astonishing array of gods, spirits and unimaginable creatures. Haku (Jason Marsden), a handsome boy with Prince Valiant bangs, helpfully explains that she’s accidentally stumbled into a kind of spa for the spirit world. That immense building she sees is a bathhouse for the gods.
Haku seems to be a friend, but is he? He’s also apprenticed to Yubaba (a great, growly Suzanne Pleshette), an evil and imperious old crone who, with her large head and small body, is the spitting image of Tenniel’s illustration of the Duchess in "Alice.” (They also share unpleasant personalities and unpleasant babies.) Yubaba is the sorceress who runs the bathhouse. Only through her good graces can Chihiro stay and rescue her parents.
From there, it’s one fantastical encounter or incident after another. Chihiro is first sent to Kamaji (David Ogden Stiers), a six-legged cross between a spider man and a hunched-over Uriah Heep. He keeps the boiler room going, overseeing an army of coal-bearing soot mites. Then there’s the Stink-God, a rolling mound of foul-smelling sludge that’s like a joke out of "South Park.” And No-Face, a woebegone spirit Chihiro feels sorry for -- until he/she/it turns into something entirely different.
Everything and everyone in "Spirited Away” can turn into something entirely different. Transformations and metamorphoses are the essence of Miyazaki’s film. Even Chihiro is transformed by her adventures. As in all classic fairy tales, she learns that if you’re clever, brave and good, you can triumph over even the most desperate and unnerving ordeals.
Miyazaki’s nonstop images are so stunning, and his imagination so vivid, that the only possible complaint you could have about "Spirited Away” is that there is no rest period, no timeout. Everywhere you look, there’s something incredible. Newts in fezzes and potatoes in bowlers. Walrus/elephants. Overgrown Easter chicks.
A giant white radish waits patiently for an elevator. A train speeds across the sea on underwater tracks. River gods come clean and Haku can become a magnificent white dragon.
Show More
Movie Release Year:
Show More
Show Type:
Original Aspect Ratio:
Daveigh Chase
Show More
Hayao Miyazaki
Show More
Date Added:
2018-02-07 18:32:43
Check out these other items in our database: