Spirited Away (2001, JAP) C-125m. *** D: Hayao Miyazaki. Starring (the voices of) Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Jason Marsden, John Ratzenberger (English version). Complex, often fascinating animated feature from Japanese genre master Miyazaki. A little girl, about to move to a new home in the country, follows her parents into an abandoned theme park, which is a resting place for spirits. Separated from her parents, the frightened girl finds refuge.in a huge bath house and must try to fit in with all kinds of weird characters. Anime of epic proportions creates a marvelous, inspiring fantasy world (much like the director's PRINCESS MONONOKE), but remains perhaps slightly too grotesque for its own good, as this renders the film a bit episodic. Still, first-rate in many respects. Excellent score by Joe Hisaishi. Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature. Filmed in an aspect ratio of 2.00:1. Also known as SEN, SEN AND THE MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF CHIHIRO, and most commonly SPIRITED AWAY. Japanese original title: SEN TO CHIHIRO NO KAMIKAKUSHI.


© Ron Altman