Spirited Away (Single Disc) - (Import DVD)
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Master animator Hayao Miyazaki directs this fantasy adventure about Chihiro, a ten-year-old girl who is leaving behind everything she knows to move with her parents to a new home. Along the way, they stumble across a tunnel that leads to a spooky, deserted open-air restaurant where Chihiro's parents sit down and begin to eat. But she is uncomfortable with their new surroundings and wanders off to explore further. She meets a boy, Haku, who explains to her that the world they have entered is a holiday resort for spirits who have left behind their exhausting earthly duties. After discovering that her greedy parents have been turned into pigs, she learns the number one rule of the new world she is now part of: laziness is not tolerated, and only working hard can enable her to break the spell on her parents. With its fantastical critique of an adult world of capitalism and wasteful consumption, entwined with the simple tale of a girl finding herself and learning to get by on her own, the film has been dubbed a modern-day 'Alice in Wonderland', and won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
N. Taliakis, Bedfordview. 13 February 2008
What can anyone say about Hayao Miyazaki and studio Ghibli (which has become a national monument / museum in Japan) that has not already been said by others who are more eloquent.
Part cautionary tale, part coming-of-age story, part myth, part fable, A short-cut though an unknown wood leads to disastrous consequences for a young familly relocating to a new city and our young heroine is thrust into a world inhabited by spirits (some good some bad).
She has to find gainfull employment, help and support from the many denizens of this spirit realm in an effort to save herself and her parents (who have been turned into pigs and will soon be turned into BBQ spare ribs).
I won't spoil any of the story excpt to say that this is the very, very best animation ever created anywhere (Disney should really come learn how it's done) with some scenes so real that one almost feels that theys are using photographic backgrounds. Added to this is an unbridled creativity that makes this a movie you want to watch over and over again - No wonder it is the No. 2 top grossing box office hit in Japan - the number one spot is still held by Titanic
Buy, it, borrow it (you won't want to return it - lenders beware), steal it but if you have not discovered studio Ghibli and the Incredible hayao Miyazaki do so now - I'm the proud owner of 12 of the 15 or so films: Porko Rosso - the flying pig. (Imagine the movie Cassablanca, in colour) The porcine protagonist is an ex WW1 fighter ace who has become a pig and fights arial pirates on the Adraitic at the time when fascism is engulfing Italy;The others in my collection are:
Kiki's Delivery Service;
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind,
Howl's Moving Castle
Castle of Cagliostro
Grave of the fireflys - one of the most poignent and powerfull anti war films I have ever seen
La Puta - Island in the sky
Tales of the Earthsea
My Neighbour Totoro
Whisper of the Heart
...As I said I don't lend them out! Go buy them for yourself and you will be hooked. Start of in the following order:1) La Puta island in the Sky, 2) Porko Rosso, 3) Princess Mononoke, 4) Howl's Moving Castle, ) Spiriteed Away, 6) Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, 7)Kiki's Delivery Service, 8) Grave of the Fireflys, 9) Castle of Cagliostro, 10) Pom Poko, 11)Tales of the Earthsea, 12)Whisper of the Heart, 13) My Neighbour Totoro, 14) The cat Returns, 15) Only Yetsrday.
Be warned - this is addictive anime of the highest quality and afterwards you will never be the same again
Aurion, South Africa. 28 July 2016
One of the greatest animation films I've ever seen. Miyazaki, the legend that he is, creation of vivid imagery is unparalleled.