千と千尋の神隠し Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki, Bunta Sugawara, Yumi Tamai, Tsunehiko Kamijō, Takehiko Ono, Akio Nakamura, Tatsuya Gashūin, Yō Ōizumi, Ryūnosuke Kamiki, Takashi Naitō, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Koba Hayashi, Ken Yasuda
During her family's move to the suburbs, sullen 10-year-old Chihiro (Rumi Hiiragi) wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.
I'm not an anime lover, therefore this movie has drawn my attention for no reason other than being the only anime that has won the Oscar for Best Animated Picture. What can I say, "Spirited Away" is a stunning, magical achievement in animation that really deserves all the good things that have been written about it.
Hayao Miyazaki addresses the problem of the transition from childhood to adolescence of Chihiro, a 10-year-old girl that has to face difficult choices independently, and he does it beautifully making use of a spectacular metaphor: the solitary one way trip; in fact, with her parents transformed into pigs, Chihiro can only approach this growth path relying on her own strength only.
In the film, loneliness is seen as the crucial moment needed to figure out who can be trusted and who can not be trusted, and as that essential step to reach maturity.
In addition unlike Americans, Japanese have a culture that embraces spirituality and they always manage - at least in the animated features - to blend together tradition, technology and spirit beautifully, and to give the film the ability of touching the audience.
The animation gives a real sense of cinematography, and the drawing, and the colours make the film stand out in a way that American films rarely do. The musical score by Joe Hisaishi is spectacular and contributes to the creation of this masterpiece.
If you can, watch it in Japanese with subtitles. It's the best way to do it.
Zeniba: Once you do something, you never forget. Even if you can't remember.