Photos - Spirited Away

While working on the layout upgrade this weekend, I was faced with an embarrassing fact: I have yet to write a single post on Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away. Can you believe that? It's humbling to realize that, even as we pass the three-year mark, the Conversations on Ghibli blog has only just begun. This really is a full-time job.

So let's start things off with some screenshots from Spirited Away. This is such a beautiful movie, lavish with rich colors and details. This was the biggest, most lavish Studio Ghibli production to date, and it shows in every scene. This is one movie that is going to look spectacular when it is finally brought to Blu-Ray.

To most casual viewers, Sen to Chihiro is the definitive Miyazaki film. It's hard to argue with that. This is a spectacular, wonderful movie, and I can't think of a better ambassador for Ghibli.


Curious_Jo said...

Spirited Away is the very first Studio Ghibli film I saw about 5 years ago. I watched it on Movies Channel about 4 times that first week and then went out and bought it, and I have been a fan of all things Ghibli ever since. Spirited Away is definitely in my top 10 movies ever (along with Laputa & Princess Mononoke).

Thanks for posting these pics. I'll be having a warm and fuzzy feeling for the rest of today :-)

Doug said...

I too discovered Ghibli and Miyazaki a few years ago when TCM were showing many of their films. I was sick in bed with the flu but managed to watch Nausicaa and was impressed, but then saw Spirited Away and that sealed the deal. I've been a fan ever since! One thing I like about this movie is that it just keeps on giving (like all of his movies) but its such a feast visually and story-wise that I can never tire of it.

Adrienne Jenkins said...

I was fortunate enough to see this film when it was released theatrically in the U.S. The experience I had was unlike any I've had before or since. I left the theatre with a sense of being cleansed. Hyperbolic sounding, yes, but it did feel like a kind of "baptism by film" so to speak. It has a very Zen-like quality, and is such a beautiful film; unified, balanced, and not the slightest bit neurotic. A very natural feeling film without any pandering excess, and no attempt to be "cool". One of the best films of all time, frankly.

Geoff N said...

Clearly this film was the starter film for many Ghibli fans, which is not a surprise. The other seems to "Totoro" or "Kiki".

I first heard of Miyazaki back in 2002 with Spirited Away winning the Academy Award, which peaked my interest, but nothing really came from it. Then in Summer 2004 a friend of mine was raving about "Spirited Away" and how great it was. So I then hit my CPU, did some research on the movie and eventually Ghibli as a whole. I then arranged a list of the films and determined I needed to somehow see them all.

I didn't actually see Spirited Away (my first Ghibli film) until the Summer of 2005, I was 17, turning 18 that September, when i happened to see it in a store and I immediately bought it.

I too remember in January 2006 when TCM had "Miyazaki Month" Where every Thursday that month they showed 3-4 film back-to-back, with the Dubs during the day then the Subs at night. They even showed a subbed version of Only Yesterday.

Presently, I own all of the Miyazaki/Takahata feature films from 1979 - Present, excluding "Ponyo" and "Earthsea", but I do own "Only Yesterday" (region 2) and "Ocean Waves." (with "On Your Mark" on the disc) I also own the Region 2 release of "Horus" with Daniel's favorite title of "Little Norse Prince." =) Fortunately, due to the wonders of torrents, I have been fortunate to see "Jarinko Chie" and "Gauche the Cellist".

What a ride it has been...

asuka said...

(just not quite as good as kiki, totoro or nausicaƤ)
(orwhisper of the heart, only yesterday or ocean waves, if it comes to that...)

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

It's a bit humbling to remember how new all of this is for us living in the States. Aside from the anime community, those who were trading vhs copies of Nausicaa years ago, the rest of us had never heard of Hayao Miyazaki until Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away appeared. And the Ghibli DVD's only began to appear in the last few years. And if it were not for Roger Ebert's Great Movies column, I may never have discovered Isao Takahata's Grave of the Fireflies.

How quickly we take the internet for granted. In 2009, we almost expect to find everything by searching Google or YouTube. Those options didn't exist a decade ago.

Chris said...

It's interesting to hear everyone's introductions to the worlds of Miyazaki Hayao. Mine was a little different.

In 1999 I moved from the U.S. to South Korea. You may or may not know South Korea's 20th century history with Japan, but to simplify it for you, they absolutely hate the Japanese. When I moved to South Korea, I didn't know this and was really hoping to be able to see a lot of anime that was unavailable to me in the States. Unfortunately for me, though, all Japanese films (and all forms of Japanese entertainment) were banned in South Korea. About a year or so later, the ban was lifted and slowly a few Japanese films began to trickle into the country.

I remember this like yesterday: One day after this I was walking through Chongo-3ga subway station in the middle of Seoul when I saw a movie poster on the wall. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. There was a young woman standing with a rifle of some sort in her hands and behind her were these massive Dune-like worm creatures. Nothing had ever so passionately excited my imagination like this before. That picture was like an amalgamation of all I love in fiction. I slowly read through the Korean title: na . . . oo . . . she . . . ka? I'd never heard that name before. When I got back home I did a search on the Internet but I didn't really know the how to spell in Engslih what I had read in Korean. It took a long while (weeks or months, in fact) but one day I finally found that what I had seen on that poster was a Japanese film called Nausicaa. The film wasn't available in English, but Amazon was selling a box set of the complete Nausicaa manga. I ordered it without checking a single review or even a synopsis.

When it finally arrived, I devoured the damn thing. It was, quite simply, one of the most enjoyable books I had ever read. I was so surprised that no one ever mentioned this in America. (Well, not really.) It was after that that I began to learn more about Miyazaki. I bought VHS copies of Kiki and Totoro which were the only films available for Americans at that time.

Things are different now for Americans. But I'll never forget my introduction to Miyazaki. As much as I adore his films, that manga is without a doubt my favorite creation of Miyazaki.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Amen to that. Count me among those who consider the Nausicaa books to be Miyazaki's true masterpiece. Great story.

So who else has Ghibli origin stories? Keep 'em coming! Everybody take a turn!

Malik Ming said...

My first Miyazaki film was indeed Spirited Away, and whoa and behold, just recently, it was the first Miyazaki film I've ever seen on the big screen. Thank you, Main Art Theater and Midnight Madness!

I've just written about this experience in my blog, so, shameless (but guilty) plug:

The first time I saw Spirited Away, I was actually trying to rent Akira. I found the spot, but not the film. Rats. Then I turned around. Spirited Away. I'm a fairly reserved people, but when I'm excited, I'm Jim Carrey on overdrive. I was jumping up and down, excited that, "Yes! I finally get to see this film everyone likes so much, this film Roger Ebert gave four stars!" (Note: I'm an Ebert junkie. Shamelessly, but guiltily.)

It was a school night, but I decided that I was watching the film that night, dammit! Hmm...I was really overly dramatic back then, because I recall standing the DVD cover like one of the monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey and approaching the cover just like one of those apes...hmm.

Anyway, I watched the film, loved the film, wanted to watch the film every night, but lent it out to a friend that hadn't seen it yet. He absolutely adored it as well.

And now I've seen it on the big screen. The circle is now complete...

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