Friday, April 23, 2010

Spirited Away

I'm not the biggest fan of anime, save for the Rurouni Kenshin series, since then I have only been exposed to my younger cousins' Pokemon, Yugioh and Naruto obsessions. These make me shudder. Nevertheless, I was surfing through the recommendations on Rotten Tomatoes and I saw a movie called Spirited Away, which received rave reviews. Spirited Away is a Japanese anime film from 2001. It is a strange and interesting little story about a 10 year-old-girl, Chihiro's adventures in a hidden village in the woods.
Chihiro and her parents were moving to a new house, and made a wrong turn. Her parents' curiosities lead them to what seemed to be an abandoned amusement park. Their greed allowed then to indulge in a meal that would basically put them out for the rest of the movie. As it gets dark, the amusement park changes - it turns out that it is a spa of sorts for the spirits in the world. And they do not hold humans in great favour.
Chihiro is aided by Haku, a young boy who doesn't remember his real name, who advises him to ask for work from Kamajii, a creature who works in the boiler room. Chihiro meets the witch who owns the spa and she is renamed Sen, and then she slowly forgets who she is and where she came from. The rest of the story is about how Sen tires to get her parents and herself out of the village and help her new friends. She is a kind and sweet little girl even if she is too innocent at times. It is a nice children's story, without too many obvious 'lesson teaching' Disney mumbo jumbo or overly bright storybook graphics. She is 10, so any mentions of love have strictly innocent undertones - I highly recommend it.

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