Film Review: Spirited Away (2001)

Fig 1. Spirited Away poster (2001)

Spirited Away (2001) is a Japanese animated fantasy, which was directed and written by Hayao Miyazaki. Who is known as a master in story telling and maker of anime feature films. Such as Princess Mononoke (1997), Howl's Moving Castle (2004) and Nausucaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984). Miyazaki based the script on his 10 year old daughter and her friend who would come to visit each summer. 

Spirited Away is one of the most successful Japanese animations in history and is also know to be one of the best animation films of all time.

Spirited Away tells the story of Chihiro, a ten year old girl, who moves to a new neighbourhood. Her and her parents come across a strange empty world, this is actually a spirit world. Her parents are unfortunately turned into pigs, and then Chihiro will then have to undergo taking a job in the spirit bath house in order to try and get them back and free herself.

Fig 2. No Face


Through out the film we meet a various amount of characters but one character in particular provides the theme of greed. No face, a black shadow looking creature, with a mask for a face, shows how greed can be consuming, which we can see in people everyday. During the film Chihiro refuses No Face's offer of gold, which sends him into a fit of rage, and starts to consume those who are also greedy for the gold he was offering. Chihiro helps to calm No Face and then he follows her, as she showed him kindness when they first met. They go off together to continue the next part of Chihiro's journey.

Fig 3. 


The features that make this a classic Japanese animation, are the hand drawn style. This is a classic style of anime or manga and is also well known in the western world. The art style can range from realistic, to also cartoon. This particular animation features a bright colour palette, but some Japanese can be much darker depending on there themes.
The Japanese style also pays high attention to detail in there scenes, such as making sure the buildings and streets look realistic, to even a small stone in the street.   



Illustration list

Figure 1.  http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/sen/poster_images/USA_full.jpg

Figure 2. https://theentertainmentnut.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/an-animated-dissection-the-enigma-of-spirited-aways-noh-face/

Figure 3. http://www.toonzone.net/review-spirited-away/


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