Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sight & Sound Challenge: Spirited Away (2001)

Film: Spirited Away (10/250)
Critics Poll: 202nd
Directors Poll: 224th
First Time/Rewatch: First Time

Let me start by saying that I'm working against an undeniable aversion to Japanese animation. I was introduced to it in probably the worst way. Dragonball Z, Pokemon, and a slew of other shows, combined with a few obnoxious anime-loving kids at my high school, made me wrinkle my nose at the whole thing. Anime, to me, was just kinda weird. I watched Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle, which I didn't love, and Tokyo Godfathers, which I actually really liked. My brief exposure to Miyazaki wasn't enough to make me pursue his other films until now, until I had to for this challenge.

Chihiro's adventures in the spirit world were pleasantly surprising. I didn't completely hate this film, what a revelation! It reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, which was both good and bad. I'm really picky about the fantasy genre, and things that are over-the-top bizarre and left without explanation bug me. I can't deny that the animation was beautiful though, especially that boat scene. I'd be interested in seeing other Japanese animated films (in JAPANESE, please!) without the fantasy element. All combined, it's a little too much for me. I know this puts me in the minority, but I don't see myself suddenly loving this genre any time soon. Gorgeous animation though, and funny moments...let's see how I stomach My Neighbor Totoro after this.

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