Spirited Away Movie Review

Spirited Away Movie Review

Studio Ghibli and Disney has teamed up to bring you the Oscar award winning Spirited Away to Blu-Ray and Disney Digital.  The movie was released a few weeks ago and I received the movie for review purposes any opinions expressed are my own.

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About Spirited Away:

From Hayao Miyazaki, one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of animated cinema, comes the Oscar®-winning triumph (2002, Best Animated Feature Film), filled with astonishing beauty and epic adventure, a dazzling masterpiece for the ages. “Spirited Away” is a wondrous fantasy about a young girl, Chihiro, trapped in a strange new world of spirits. When her parents undergo a mysterious transformation, she must call on the courage she never knew she had to free herself and return her family to the outside world.  An unforgettable story, brimming with creativity, “Spirited Away” will take you on a journey beyond your imagination. It’s a fantastic tale the whole family will want to experience over and over again on Disney Blu-ray!

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My Thoughts:

When my DVDs arrived in the mail my first thought was to put on Spirited Away for the kids to watch, luckily I decided to read the back of the box and decided against it for my seven and eight year old kids.  I just didn’t think they could understand the movie, especially if it had any spirits.  They get bad dreams over simple stuff so I decided this wouldn’t be a good fit for them.  I would recommend you checked it out on your own before letting younger kids watch.  There are a few scenes in the movie that may be scary for kids, for example Chihiro’s parents turn into pigs after eating a whole bunch of food and the village they stumbled upon turned into a ghost spa.  I watched the movie on my own.

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I actually enjoyed the movie very much.  I will admit that some parts seemed a bit weird to me but overall it was a great movie.  I loved the animation of this movie and how much culture they put in despite it being a movie about a ghost spa.  I loved how they showed your Chihiro’s journey during the film.  When she first arrives she’s scared and doesn’t know what to do.  She quickly made a friend who she trusts to help her get her parents back to human.  I couldn’t imagine being in her shoes as a young girl and having to rescue my parents.  When we first meet Chihiro she’s complaining in the car to her parents about moving. She seems spoiled and whinny.

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As the movie continues you quickly start to feel for this young girl who’s world was flipped upside down so quickly it would terrify anyone.  Following instructions she lands a job at the spa, and is spared from being turned into a pig but she still has to rescue her parents and no one at the spa has the answers she needs and when she was told the one person she trusted wasn’t who she thought, she’ll left wondering who she can trust to help her get her parents.

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Another apparent theme in this movie was friendship and love.  It’s clear that Chihiro loves her friend Haku, but her roommate and mentor at the spa keeps telling her to not trust him.  Soon their friendship is tested and we see just how much Chihiro really trusts and believes in him.

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Chihiro’s strength is what gets her through this tough journey and her determination to get her parents and go back to her new home.  She ends up leaving the spa to help save her friend Haku and help him restore her honor.  She helps an unwanted spirit find a good home and Haku ends up finding his own true identity.

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Spirited Away is entertaining with a bit of suspense, it will have you wondering what will happen next.  You’ll be transported into a world like no other on a journey of self discovery and a lesson in true love.  You can purchase the DVD in stores now or on Amazon.  It’s a must add to your collection if you’re a fan of anime.  Be sure to also check out The Cat Returns also from Studio Ghibli.

 

The Cat Returns Movie Review

The Cat Returns Movie Review

Studio Ghibli recently released it’s popular title The Cat Returns on Blu-Ray for the first time ever.  Fans of Japanese cartoons would truly enjoy this graphic novel turned movie.  The Cat Returns is available in stores now for purchase.  My family and I received a copy for review purposes, any opinions expressed are our own.

About The Cat Returns:

TheCatReturns_BlurayComboFrom the Studio that brought you “Spirited Away,” comes the visually stunning “The Cat Returns.” Haru, a schoolgirl bored by her ordinary routine, saves the life of an unusual cat, and suddenly her world is transformed beyond anything she ever imagined. To change her fate, she’ll need to learn to believe in herself and, in the process, she will learn to appreciate her everyday life. For the first time ever on Disney Blu-ray comes “The Cat Returns,” a magical animated adventure that will delight and inspire everyone.

My Thoughts:

I wasn’t sure what The Cat Returns would be about but when the movies arrived looking at the box it looked like a title the kids would enjoy.  The movie follows Haru played by Anne Hathaway through a weird series of events.  It starts with Haru waking up later for school and starting off her day badly.  We’ve all been there before.  On her way home with one of her friends a lovely cat crosses her path and stops her in her tracks.  She starts to observe the cat and notice its crossing the street, when she realizes the cat is in danger she risks her own life to save the cat.  It’s in the moment she realizes this cat isn’t like any other cat she’s seen before.  The cat stood up on hind legs, dust him self off and thanked Haru for saving her life.  He told her he would return to thank her properly later and ran off.

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Later that night Haru receives a visit from the Cat King at home.  He came to thank her for saving his son’s life.  They presented her with a list of gifts and she thought nothing of it.  It’s clear she thought it was a dream, who would think talking cats came to visit them.  Soon Haru realizes that saving that cat’s life could mean major changes for her life when she is offered the prince’s hand in marriage.  Determined to find a way out of the marriage Haru goes off to find the Cat Bureau where she hopes they can help her get out of her predicament.

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Haru meets the Baron and he must rescue her from the Cat King which takes them on an amazing adventure.  The Cat Returns is an incredible story with amazing animation.  My kids ages 7 & 8 both enjoyed this movie so much they asked to watch it immediately after watching it the first time.  Aside from having to explain some things to them they were able to enjoy it and understand the story.  The Cat Returns reminds us that sometimes our good intentions don’t turn out with the outcome we want.  Although Haru faced a difficult journey as a result of her helping the prince, she did make some good friends and learned that not everyone has bad intentions.

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The Cat Returns would make a great addition to any movie collection and I recommend that you add it to yours, especially if you are a fan of Japanese cartoons.  You won’t want to pass up on this opportunity.