Movie Club: Spirited Away

Discussion in 'Introductions & Off Topic' started by LiamABC, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this.

    This week's movie is the animated feature "Spirited Away" - picked by Mark M.

    Remember any ideas for films to discuss are most welcome, and should be made on the Movie Club Introduction thread (the sticky one).

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these episodes, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full movie online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the movie in whatever manner you want.
  2. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Spirited Away is one of the first few Studio Ghibli movies I seen.
    I suggested Spirited Away over some of the others which I prefer as it is the movie which has had the most critical success I thought it would probably be the most easily accessible for everyone.

    I recall seeing the posters for SA in the video rental shops back when it came out but I did not get to see the film properly until 2014. A friend of mine is a huge fan of the Ghibli movies and sent me some MP4s of some of the movies. We became friends through talking about the Rankin Bass cartoon Flight of Dragons. After watching them I really enjoyed them so decided to download the others and sent them to my friend so we now both have complete collections of all of the Ghibli movies.

    I really enjoy the story and characters of SA and the fantasy setting.
    Chihiro is a likeable and interesting heroine.
    The voice casting for the film is also very well done. I instantly recognised Jason Marsden.
    The animation in the film is stunning.
    The soundtrack by Joe Hisaishi is wonderful but as are all of his scores for the Ghibli movies.

    Overall this is one of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki's best movies.
    My favourite Ghibli movies are Princess Mononoke, My neighbour Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Howl's Moving Castle and Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind.
    I would definitely recommend watching Miyazaki's other movies that I have mentioned.
  3. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I'd never seen this animated film before. I didn't really know what to expect.

    The Japanese animation style made me think of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

    The whole thing felt like an old fairy tale/fable, and worked on many levels.

    The characters were interesting enough, Chihiro/Sen was good and noble without being annoying. Haku had an interesting level of ambiguity, one minute he was Chihiro's only hope, next he was the face of evil, and you're wondering if he tricked her for his own ends . . . Kamaji was a curmudgeon but ultimately good-natured. I'd have liked to learn more about Lin - she seemed to be a human who'd got stuck in this spirit realm, like Chihiro, and adapted. By the end of it, she was fiercely protective of Chihiro. Yubaba and her sister Zeniba were peculiar, the former the arch-villain, the latter much more ambiguous, very threatening in her first appearance, but later ultimately benevolent.

    The one character that I didn't quite get was the character No-Face. He/it seemed to be one of those fairy tale type characters, but didn't quite fit with the rest of the story. It was like he was there to test the other characters in the bath house, but we never learned why. He found a purpose at the end with Zeniba, though.

    The thing that did sort of bug me though was the beginning. The way the situation all got started could have been handled better. The way they just got out of the car and had a wander around when they were worried about being late for meeting the removal people just seemed wrong. Some sort of explanation would have been in order. Of course, when they started eating, you knew something bad was going to happen, and sure enough, when Chihiro came back, they had turned into pigs.

    Overall though, I definitely liked it. It's the sort of thing I'd need to watch a second time to fully take in I guess, but I'm sure I'll give it that second viewing in due course.
    Mark M likes this.
  4. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Glad you enjoyed it Liam. I suggested it more as an easy starting point.
    I think you should definitely watch My Neightbour Totoro, Howl's Moving Castle, Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind, Laputa or Princess Mononoke when you get chance.

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