Sen Chihiro is moving with her parents. On their way to the new house, they happen upon an abandoned theme park. Curious, they go to look at it. When the parents find plates of food, they dig in. Sen doesn’t as she’s afraid. When night falls, her parents are turned into pigs and Sen Chihiro, turned Chihiro Sen, finds work at a bath house for gods, with the help of the mysterious Haku.
Spirited Away is just plain wonderful. (Depending on my mood, it fights for the favourite Miyazaki movie spot with Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and My Neighbour Totoro.) Visually, it’s definitely the most beautiful of Miyazaki’s movies. And I love Haku.
But it’s not only Haku I love – I also love Chihiro and pretty much all the characters.
And I think it’s a fascinating look into the mythology of Japan – all the gods and creatures running around. I bet somebody who knows their Japanese mythology could tell you about each and every one of them – what they mean and represent and so on.
[I’d love to hear that, btw. So if anybody wants to get into it, I’m totally available.]
The story is absolutely amazing. And while it should be really scary – and there are a lot of threats flying around the place – you’re never afraid. I’m not sure how Miyazaki accomplishes that. Maybe you’re just lulled by the beauty of it all. Or maybe his sense of humour does the deed… anyway, it is done.
Oh and the score… Joe Hisaishi is awesome… I probably should have mentioned him in the Miyazaki movie posts before this one because he wrote the score for all of those and they’re all great, but for Spirited Away, he outdid himself. [And then again for Howl’s Moving Castle.]
Summarising, as most of Miyazaki’s stuff, definitely a must-see.