As if I Wasn't Already Lazy; My Drive to Write was Spirited Away
The cover reveals very little about the movie.
The cover reveals very little about the movie.

Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese animation artist whose name managed to cross the ocean from Japan and make a somewhat strong name for himself in the United States, and being the only Japanese animation (or anime) artist that even my parents can recognize. Fitting, I suppose, considering it has won both an Academy Award and an Oscar.

Spirited Away has a beautiful art style, very clean and bright without looking like too much of a cartoon. The scenes depicted in the film reflect a more Asian decor, but look real and tangible despite being entirely animated. The entire scenery of the show will mean that sometimes it is okay to stop and admire the scenery, even though it is just a single drawn frame on a larger animation. That quality of animation helps break down the barrier between "cartoon" and "animation". That quality is the one that stays with the watcher well beyond the first viewing.

Miyazaki has always been something of a "visionary", creating works that stretch well-beyond the casual watching environment. It invites the sort of bizarre world that would feel at home with Alice in Wonderland or on the set of Teletubbies. This is a bizarre concept, considering just how unlikely this sort of story would be to fit in with the other titles that have collected Academy awards and Oscars.

The thing about Spirited Away is it manages to rest in bizarre while still being approachable. Every facet of the story has an underlying moral, a lesson, or just a clever statement that can be grasped easily if it is being looked for, and manages to not distract if it is not. There are not many animated films that speak to viewer in such an all-encompassing way as this, and very often will not be a film that can amuse and appease both children and adults on intellectual levels. Somehow, Miyazaki bridged a both a culture and internal gap.

High artful. It's quite inspiring.
High artful. It's quite inspiring.

This entire process is aided by an almost unknown but highly-talented voice cast. Despite being relatively unheard-of, the cast does a stellar job of bringing life to the characters. Unlike most foreign language to English dubs, this film makes an extra effort to sound good, even carefully tweaking the script to match the mouth movement of the characters. The overall process feels natural, and fades seamlessly in the background.

The soundtrack does just as much to be both pivotal to the process, and invisible to the watcher. A good soundtrack is one you don't notice while the movie is going on, but still managed to steer the process in the right direction. In terms of atmosphere, Spirited Away managed to make itself right at home wherever it sent the characters, and did incredibly well for itself. Despite having to bridge a culture gap and employ so many diverse and ranging scenes and scenarios, it managed to be easily to relate to. Or, at the very least, approachable by a wide audience.

With such a winning execution, from opening to credits, its no surprise that Spirited Away is the highest grossing movie in Japan. Although it is not without flaws. Like any film that deals in fantastical settings and strange creatures, and despite such a strong setup to make the entire process approachable, this film feels like its being too clever. After watching the film countless times, I get the joy of seeing something new each viewing, and the disappointment of feeling like I'm missing something. The entire film threads obvious, subtle, political, moralistic, and cultural into the same weave, and is so densely packed that the unraveling never seems absolute. The nagging feeling of something missing is omnipresent.

Bottom Line: Spirited Away is a wonderful tale that leaves warm fuzzies in its wake. That single missing thread, hiding out in the recesses of the narrative, will always be the hole in the ground that causes the rest of the stellar work to stumble a little. It is an award-winning, amazing, and striking story with all of the checklist elements of a great movie, and a few bonuses as well. Maybe a little too much, and that ultimately brings it down a little.

Recommendation: Buy it. Regardless of faults, it aligns itself to be a must-see for children, adults, or anyone who enjoys a good movie.

Great review of a great movie!

PS. There really needs to be a game made with the same art-style as this movie!

Good work. Keep it up.

Also, nice to see someone else being clever about their review thread titles :D

NewClassic:
Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese animation artist whose name managed to cross the ocean from Japan and make a somewhat strong name for himself (Reword, the "name" thing is a tad repetitive.) in the United States, and being the only Japanese animation (or anime) artist that even my parents can recognize (This feels incomplete. Are you missing something?). Fitting, I suppose, considering it (Not clear whether you're trying to refer to the title piece or to the composer.) has won both an Academy Award and an Oscar.

Spirited Away has a beautiful art style, very clean and bright without looking like too much of a cartoon. The scenes depicted in the film reflect a more Asian decor, but look real and tangible despite being entirely animated. The entire (Repeated word. Blah.) scenery of the show will mean that sometimes it is okay to stop and admire the scenery (More repetition.), even though it is just a single drawn frame on a larger animation. That quality of animation helps break down the barrier between "cartoon" and "animation". That quality (And again.) is the one that stays with the watcher well beyond the first viewing.

Miyazaki has always been something of a "visionary", creating works that stretch well-beyond the casual watching environment. It invites the sort of bizarre world that would feel at home with Alice in Wonderland or on the set of Teletubbies. This is a bizarre (Repeat word.) concept, considering just how unlikely this sort of story would be to fit in with the other titles that have collected Academy awards and Oscars.

The thing about Spirited Away is (that) it manages to rest in bizarre (again?) while still being approachable. Every facet of the story has an underlying moral, a lesson, or just a clever statement that can be grasped easily if it is being looked for, and manages to not distract if it is not. There are not many animated films that speak to viewer in such an all-encompassing way as this, and very often will not be a film that can amuse and appease both children and adults on intellectual levels. Somehow, Miyazaki bridged a both a culture and internal gap.

This entire process is aided by an almost unknown but highly-talented voice cast. Despite being relatively unheard-of, the cast does a stellar job of bringing life to the characters. (You just said that. This sentence is unnecessary.) Unlike most foreign language to English dubs, this film makes an extra effort to sound good, even carefully tweaking the script to match the mouth movement of the characters. The overall process feels natural, and fades seamlessly in the background.

The soundtrack does just as much to be both pivotal to the process, and invisible to the watcher. A good soundtrack is one you don't notice while the movie is going on, but still managed to steer the process in the right direction. In terms of atmosphere, Spirited Away managed (Repeated word.) to make itself right at home wherever it sent the characters, and did incredibly well for itself. Despite having to bridge a culture gap and employ so many diverse and ranging scenes and scenarios, it managed (Argh.) to be easily (You mean easy, right?) to relate to. Or, at the very least, approachable by a wide audience.

With such a winning execution, from opening to credits, its no surprise that Spirited Away is the highest grossing movie in Japan. Although it is not without flaws. Like any film that deals in fantastical settings and strange creatures, and despite such a strong setup to make the entire process approachable (You used "despite" and "approachable" enough in the last paragraph.), this film feels like its being too clever. After watching the film countless times, I get the joy of seeing something new each viewing, and the disappointment of feeling like I'm missing something (Needs a re-word.). The entire film threads obvious, subtle, political, moralistic, and cultural into the same weave, and is so densely packed that the unravelling never seems absolute. The nagging feeling of something missing is omnipresent.

Bottom Line: Spirited Away is a wonderful tale that leaves warm fuzzies in its wake. That single missing thread, hiding out in the recesses of the narrative, will always be the hole in the ground that causes the rest of the stellar work to stumble a little. It is an award-winning, amazing, and striking (Overly verbose.) story with all of the checklist elements of a great movie, and a few bonuses as well. Maybe a little too much, and that ultimately brings it down a little.

Recommendation: Buy it. Regardless of faults, it aligns itself to be a must-see for children, adults, or anyone who enjoys a good movie.

Great content. There's plenty of detail there to keep the reader interested and it portrays a strong point of view. I think this just needs a proof-read and editor's hand. The writing isn't up to your usual standard I'm afraid.

I disagree with Labyrinth in most of those cases, I don't see that repeating the odd word and being a little verbose in places is a bad thing, the bizarre is an important element and bears repeating. Though that sentence about voice acting would have been better if you had perhaps gone for "The entire process is helped along by excellent voice acting." as the lead in for that paragraph, before emphasising that the cast is largely unknown.

Other than that my only problem is once again with your intro paragraph, it would flow better if broken up a bit and re-worded a little.

Good review though, I enjoyed reading it.

Good review. Better film. A tiny bit of plot synopsis would be good, even if its the kind of things you'd see on the back of a kids fantasy novel. Something like: Chihiro is moving to a new city, but when her family stops for some lunch she's brought into an entirely new world. You know, except less fucking lame.
I always thought that Haku's dragon from was fucking sweet.

 

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