New York Times - 09/20/2002
"...The beauty of the animation, a skillful blend of hand-painted foreground and well-placed computer background, works to generate the storytelling..."
Los Angeles Times - 09/20/2002
"...This visual wonder is the product of a fierce and fearless imagination whose creations are unlike any you've seen before..."
USA Today - 09/20/2002
"...Elements of Eastern religions and Japanese legends add to the otherworldly, magical quality of the film..."
Entertainment Weekly - 09/27/2002
"...A triumph of psychological depth and artistic brilliance..."
Variety - 09/23/2002
"...Miyazaki's comic touches and often astounding flights of fantasy -- enhanced by Joe Hisaishi's thankfully intact score -- still win the day..."
Box Office - 11/01/2002
"...The film unfolds like an enchanted hybrid of Alice in Wonderland and Oliver Twist....The illustrations are richly textured..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 04/06/2003
"...This is the best animated film of recent years....Delightful and enchanting..."
Sight and Sound - 09/01/2003
"...Remarkable....It has some splendid gags....The film's opening demonstrates the cross-cultural universality of fairy tales..."
Wall Street Journal - 05/29/2009
"[A] masterpiece of modern animation....10-year-old Chihiro finds herself alone in an alternate universe that, for all its exotic trappings, could be a hinterland of Wonderland or Oz."
Directed by animation legend Hayao Miyazaki, SPIRITED AWAY is the tale of Chihiro (voiced by Daveigh Chase), a young girl who is taken down an unusual road by her parents while moving to a new home in an unfamiliar town. The curiosity of Chihiro's mother (Lauren Holly) and father (Michael Chiklis) leads the reluctant child into what appears to be an abandoned amusement park. Soon her parents are greedily feasting on various delights from an enticing food stand and are literally turned into pigs. The frightened and bewildered girl then encounters a young man named Haku (Jason Marsden), who explains what she must do to navigate this strange and magical realm. Finding employment in a bathhouse for spirits and other odd characters--including kimono-wearing frogs, lumbering tentacled monsters, and a mysterious apparition named No Face--Chihiro attempts to figure out how she can free her parents from the clutches of the resort's owner, a powerful witch named Yubaba (Suzanne Pleshette). In the process, she makes some very eccentric friends--and has to deal with some notoriously stinky customers.
A surreal adventure reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND, SPIRITED AWAY continues Miyazaki's streak of groundbreaking animated films that also includes PRINCESS MONONOKE and MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO. Succeeding MONONOKE as the most successful film in Japanese cinema history, this charming movie follows its own bizarre yet engaging logic as it reveals a cast of fascinating characters and jaw-dropping settings through stunningly beautiful hand-crafted animation. A movie experience like no other, SPIRITED AWAY is sure to enchant audiences of all ages, leaving viewers grinning with a giddy sense of wonderment.
Disney Film |
Essential Cinema |
Theatrical Release |