Studio Ghibli, 2002, PG
By Shauna Slemon, Fís na hÓige member age 20,
Spirited away is an animated adventure movie, based in a fantasy world. I am a big fan of Studio Ghibli overall as they put a twist on your average children’s film. Spirited Away is probably my favourite movie by their studio. I love this film because it is so magical and as a kid, I would love to watch movies where somebody would stumble across a magical world. This is very much like that.
The film takes place in a town in Japan, and surrounds a young girl named Chihiro. On the way to their new home, Chihiro and her parents make a wrong turn and end up in an abandoned amusement park. Her parents decide to explore. Acting out of greed her parents eat food that they come across and turn into pigs as a result. This leaves Chihiro in an unknown place full of spirits, to navigate on her own. She stumbles across a bathhouse owned by an evil witch named Yubaba. To hide from the spirits, she takes the advice of a boy named Haku and starts working in the bathhouse for Yubaba, serving spirits. Because of this decision it leads her on a difficult journey to save her parents and survive this new world, while making friends along the way.
The main theme in my opinion is the line between good and evil. Chihiro encounters many people throughout the story and each character is a mix of good and bad. It’s a nice play on your typical Good vs. Evil story. Other themes I’ve noticed are the themes of friendship, experiencing the world of work, and the power of words and names.
One thing I love about this movie is the soundtrack. The music has a massive impact on the mood of the film. I think there is a lot of character development, especially with the main characters, Chihiro, Haku and Yubaba. I really like the relationship between Chihiro and Haku. I think it works well as a family movie as it is easy to understand for younger kids, but it has a level of depth to it. I think it does a good job in teaching us that two worlds can co-exist and work together. I also love the art style and how detailed it is.
One critique I would have is that there are some scarier scenes that kids may not be able to watch. It also has some blood in certain scenes, but it is very mild.
In conclusion this movie is a must watch and I would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy and are looking for an incredible family movie.
Fís na hÓige Productions – Fís na hÓige was put in place a few years ago to teach young people aged 15 and older about all aspects of film making. We do this by having regular workshops with professionals from within the film industry and by shooting movies written by the kids. We’ve had tremendous success at film festivals throughout Ireland and have won several awards.
From July 10th until the 16th, this year, we’ll be having our annual Summer Camp when our film makers will be with us for 7 days doing workshops and will then mentor the kids while they shoot movies written by themselves. So, if you’re 15 and older, interested in writing, acting, animation and curious about shooting movies, then give us a call on 085 7249075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.