TV Party Tonight! #40

TV Party Tonight! #40

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Friday, 08 December 2017
DVD/Blu-Ray

Spirited Away [Blu-ray]
GKIDS

For a celebrated director like Miyazaki it’s worthwhile to point out how Spirited Away is probably his most celebrated work. Few movies have received the acclaim that this title has and a look at its Wikipedia page really puts into perspective the killing this movie made at any awards show where it was nominated.

And it’s easy to see why. Watching Spirited Away is like watching Alice in Wonderland. It starts off with a very ordinary setting and quickly snowballs into a world of fantasy, wonderment and absolute bonkers absurdity. Personally, I’ll always stick with Princess Mononoke as my favorite Miyazaki movie, but there’s something to be said for the characters in Spirited Away where no other Miyazaki movie has been able to match it. There are just so many unique and delightful characters and the very Japanese-centric setting of an Onsen makes it the perfect backdrop for all these strange creatures to meet and interact.

The titular character of Chihiro is a perfect example of an ordinary character caught in extraordinary circumstances, but the fact that she’s cunning and capable makes us immediately feel for her. She’s in way over her head in all these situations and we’d be kidding ourselves if we think we’d be doing things any different than she is: go with the flow and do the best you can. That way Spirited Away is as interesting and engrossing to adults as it is to kids.

Spirited Away is also home to the greatest Miyazaki characters of all time like No-Face, Kamaji, and the Ootori-Sama duck gods soaking in their bath. No, the story isn’t really cohesive and the rules keep getting redefined (which would really harm later Miyazaki movies) but the all-out bonanza of crazy situations and characters more than inject Spirited Away with the energy it needs to stay alive and soar. An absolute classic.

Get the reissue from GKIDS.

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