Most helpful positive review
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
undescribable and unique
on February 23, 2003
This movie is different. That is the main thing an average American must remember when going to see it. It is not a "happy, simple, plotline with song and dance" for children. This is Ghibli, not Disney folks. Spirited Away reminds me of a Fairy Tale or a Fable. The kind of thing you would read about in a modern Brothers Grimm collection. There are weird, sometimes creepy, sometimes cute, always strange and different creatures to be beheld here and not everyone will appreciate that.
The plot follows 10-year-old Chihiro who is moving away to a new city and has a bit of a problem with being self-centered. When her parents stumble on an abandoned amusement-park and go exploring they come across some fresh food. Thinking the place might still be in business they sit down to eat and decide to pay later. The food ends up turning them into pigs and from there the plot spirals into a series of strange events that sometimes don't quite make sense, but are fun to watch anyways.
This movie holds quite a few themes and contains a lot of symbolism. It is rather complex, which is becoming rare for a PG movie. At times, it may seem a little rushed or random and many people may think Mr. Miyazaki is not quite all the way there or is abusing certain substances. These people, are closed-minded however and should shut-up and mind their own beeswax. This movie requires a selected taste and artistic understanding. If fantasy and fairy-tales aren't your thing, ignore, leave it alone by all means. If you are in the mood for something new and creative, if you want your kids to see something more than brainwashed cartoons, if you want to see beautiful animation, see this movie! It may take some time before you appreciate it, and you may have to expand what you think about cartoons or entertainment, but I think that expanding is a good thing. This is certainly not everybody's movie, but that's what makes it great. After all, do you prefer "one size fits all" or something tailored to be something specific. Of course, it may not be what you usually wear, but it wouldn't hurt to try it on for size.
Regarding children, I have heard all manner of things from "kids fled screaming in terror" to "they fell in love with it and want to see it again and again and again and..." When I saw the movie some kids there stayed for the whole thing, I think one person walked out. So let's be honest, this movie is not suitable for some children. There is a bleeding dragon, there are scary creatures, there are weird enchantresses with big heads and giant babies. It is weird and it can be scary. On the same note some kids might be enthralled with this movie. The giant baby could be found hilarious, the dragon (when not bleeding) magical, the creatures (or "spirits rather") curious and fun. It depends on the age and on the child. This is not Pokemon nor is it Princess Mononoke. This is very diffirent from both of those. Know your kids before letting them see it, see the movie before letting them see it. Parental Guidance is suggested folks, adhere to this.