Cinema of the Week: Spirited Away

Kristen Hines, Columnist •

Time to revisit one of the old classics, and what many consider a masterpiece of animation, Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Spirited Away’. Released in America in 2001, this movie has become infamous among both moviegoers and animation buffs alike, for its incredibly creative world, memorable characters, and its exciting yet touching story.

The story is quite simple; a young girl and her parents find themselves trapped in the spirit world and must find a way to get back home. But it’s the world that is built around the main character that makes this movie so amazing, along with the evolution of the characters.

The way the main character slowly matures from a whiny, scared child into a brave, willing soul is almost so flawless you don’t even realize it’s happened until it
already has. The world is so creative and full of imagination that it’s practically an art goldmine. So much is shown and so little is explained, leaving the unseen aspects of the world completely up to the imagination.

Another interesting aspect, is the lack of a villain in the story. Sure, there’s a few characters you could deem as the ‘antagonist’, but none of them are evil simply because they are. While they may not like the main character, they still have their moments where they help each other when the situation demands it. All the characters are just complex and flawed; no one is one-note, or black and white.

Even if Japanese animation isn’t your thing, this movie is definitely a must see. It has no gimmicks, nothing inappropriate, and hasn’t dated by any means. It’s just a fun, exciting family film that everyone can find some kind of enjoyment in.

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