Review: Spirited Away

I like Japan and I like Japanese anime, so I'm going to be inclined to like a movie like Spirited Away. And so, I wasn't surprised, and neither should you be, that I thoroughly enjoyed this award winning film (Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, 2003).

The animation was an excellent and subtle mix of hand-drawn animation and computer-generated special effects. If you're familiar with anime, you'll find some familiar feel, but it is more of the realistic (think Akira) as opposed to the heavy cartoon (over-sized eyes, etc.) style. If you are a student of the technique, you'd probably find this enough to sell you on the film.

Top this off with a good mythological story and you have a fun couple of hours. The basic story is one of friendship, fear, loss, courage, sacrifice and love. All of the major themes are present, as are many of the mythical attributes of spirits, magic, ghosts, and witchcraft.

Go see it, take your kids, take your friends and have a good time.