Spirited Away

Attempt at snarky title on temporary leave.

It’s been said by critics, audiences, and people who finished their blog before me, that Spirited Away is a great film. And I agree. The animation bright and detailed, the story engaging, and the themes emotional all make for a great film.

The animation was by far and away the best part of the picture, which is why it was chosen as our featured film for the animation techniques. The film makes great usage of CG Scenes, utilising them for difficult movement, like waves, to conserving the two dimensional door to Zeniba’s, yet remains largely out of the way for most of the film, eschewing the computer generated animation for a hand detailed photo. The setting of a supernatural bath house only aids the hand drawn imagery of swooping arches and colourful bath house construction. This bright palette is a noticeable difference from the bland modern world, and gives Yubaba’s domain that otherworldly distinction from (Um, Sen)’s own world.

The animation lends itself to the fairytale story, full of larger than life characters and more obvious fairytale tropes, like magic. Anomalously to fairytales, there are no real villains. Yubaba loves her son (she gets around to it eventually), the initially ominous Zeniba is a sweet old grandma, and No-Face was bad only because of the Bath House (I still don’t trust him, he’s creepy). But classically, the main character learns some moral lesson, and ends on a happy note.

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