tek's rating:

Spirited Away (PG)
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This movie always reminded me somewhat of Alice in Wonderland. It's about a young girl named Chihiro, who, along with her parents, is moving to a new town. But before they get to their new home, they take a wrong turn, and wind up at what appears to be an abandoned theme park. After Chihiro's parents make pigs of themselves, everything quickly gets very weird.

I don't want to give too much away, but Chihiro... loses her parents, and gets lost, I guess. She meets a boy named Haku, who gives her some advice to help her out in the strange new world in which she finds herself. She wants to find her parents and get home, but meanwhile she ends up working at a bath house for spirit creatures, run by a witch named Yubaba. Chihiro signs a contract to work for Yubaba, who gains possession of Chihiro's name, and gives her the new name Sen. Sen then begins working with a woman named Lin, and... well, various strange things happen. Eventually Sen begins to forget things about her past, but Haku makes sure she never completely forgets, nor stops trying to eventually get home....

I don't really want to divulge any more of the plot than that. But it's beautifully animated, with an enchanting story, written and directed of course by the brilliant Hayao Miyazaki, whose films are pretty much required viewing for anime fans. And at least should be highly recommended to any fans of good fantasy stories or faerie tales, whether you've a particular interest in anime or not....


anime index

films by Hayao Miyazaki and/or Studio Ghibli

The Castle of Cagliostro * Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind * Castle in the Sky * Grave of the Fireflies * My Neighbor Totoro * Kiki's Delivery Service * Only Yesterday * Porco Rosso * Pom Poko * Whisper of the Heart * Princess Mononoke * My Neighbors the Yamadas * Spirited Away * The Cat Returns * Howl's Moving Castle * Tales from Earthsea * Ponyo * The Secret World of Arrietty * From Up on Poppy Hill * The Wind Rises * The Tale of the Princess Kaguya * When Marnie Was There