I can be honest with myself when I saw you’ve probably already seen this movie. But it’s a beautiful masterwork and fits in with this issue’s theme “Art from Japan,” so I’m recommending it. Spirited Away is beautiful, heartfelt, surreal and dreamlike. And there’s a reason why it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards.
I wasn’t part of the crowd that saw this when they were children. I was exposed to it as an adult, as it’s constantly revered as one of the greatest animated films of all time. I was enamored with it as soon as it started, and was constantly amazed by how the movie made me feel as the plot progressed. Speaking of, here’s a quick synopsis:
10-year-old Chihiro and her parents stumble upon a seemingly abandoned amusement park. After her mother and father are turned into giant pigs, Chihiro meets the mysterious Haku, who explains that the park is a resort for supernatural beings who need a break from their time spent in the earthly realm, and that she must work there to free herself and her parents.
Full disclosure, I’ve only ever seen the English dub, but I’ve enjoyed it. If you’ve never seen this film before, it’s a must. If you have, it’s probably time to give it another watch. Some of the scenes are so imaginative and incredible it’s hard to feel like they aren’t actually part of a dream. Trailer below: