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What's so good about Spirited Away? Watch

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    Last night I watched Spirited Away for the first time. And yes, whilst it was conceptually interesting and beautifully drawn, I didn't for one minute think it deserved it's spot at #29 on the IMDB Top 250. There was no character development, storyline or defining 'moment' of the movie, like most of the films up on that list.

    So, enlighten me, why does Spirited Away deserve the critical acclaim it has received?

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    (Original post by Nirgilis)
    Last night I watched Spirited Away for the first time. And yes, whilst it was conceptually interesting and beautifully drawn, I didn't for one minute think it deserved it's spot at #29 on the IMDB Top 250. There was no character development, storyline or defining 'moment' of the movie, like most of the films up on that list.

    So, enlighten me, why does Spirited Away deserve the critical acclaim it has received?

    For me, the escapism and spirit of the story was something I don't think has ever been matched. I remember at the end, I looked up at the time and didn't even realise that two hours had gone. The story meanders in a weird and wonderful way that can't be replicated by anything outside of Studio Ghibli. I agree that the characters don't have that much depth, but they add just enough to the plot that it doesn't become about them; personally, I absolutely love the simplicity of the character development and I think it helps focus on a great plot. In short, every time I watch Spirited Away it takes me back to that magical summer day way back when I first watched it. It's one of my favourite films of all time.
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    SPOILERS BELOW FOR BITS THROUGHOUT THE FILM
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    I have to disagree on the character development! Chihiro is quite petulant and stubborn to begin with, which honestly isn't too weird considering she's a child anyway, but her biggest concerns in life are moving to a new town and starting a new school. She sticks her tongue out at it as it rolls by her window and she tells her mother whiningly how her flowers are dying. She also states how she wishes she had a proper bouquet, her mother replies that her dad bought her a rose for her birthday and she basically says "yeah one rose isn't a bouquet". So far she appears ungrateful, whiny and childishly spoilt, if you want to put it harshly. Really she's just a normal kid with normal kid problems but anyway.

    After losing her parents, she is thrust into a world of very hard work with strange creatures in a strange world. She's terrified, has no idea what is going on or why it is happening and all anyone around her does is tell her to stop being a whiny baby and "have you ever worked a day in your life?" She struggles through this ordeal whilst devoting most of her time to her friend Haku and trying to find a way to get her parents back ALL whilst dealing with daily problems such as bathing a dirty river spirit, almost drowning in there and owning up to her mistake of letting No Face into the bath house. Then she has to cope with him turning into the huge, predatory monster who wants to eat her and manages to use the medicine from the river spirit, the medicine which could have helped someone else like her parents, to save him and everyone else.

    So Chihiro has morphed from this kid who couldn't even stand next to a creepy statue with overgrown moss all over it without getting freaked out into this girl who battles all of these things and then goes to see Zeniba, who she apologises to on behalf of Haku and travels there entirely alone aside from a mouse, a little bird and No Face, the guy who tried to eat her. So to then end up doing all of this, uncovering Yubaba's corruption to all at the bathhouse, solving the puzzle set out for her, helping Yubaba's baby to grow up a little more, giving No Face a second chance and a new home with Zeniba, helping Haku find his true identity and ultimately saving the day when it came to the river/stink spirit - she does a remarkable amount of growing up. I don't know a lot of kids around here that could stomach all of that and come out mentally and physically unharmed by the whole thing. She calmly says how "I think I can handle it" when her mom tells her how scared she must be about going to a new school at the end which I think is a great and humorous touch to how much she has grown up seemingly all in one real-world afternoon.

    I honestly think the defining moments can be found everywhere, but a big one is when her and Haku are falling and crying together because he finally remembers who he is. In fact, it touches on how the river has been filled in now, a theme within the film about how people are constantly ruining rivers and the environment. Just take a look at the river/stink spirit who has been overwhelmed by human pollution.

    I've watched this film so many times, so perhaps I've had the time to mull it over a lot more. But I wouldn't go running away with the idea that the characters have no depth! Every line says something about their personality.
    Studio Ghibli films can never be watched just once!
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    (Original post by Nirgilis)
    Last night I watched Spirited Away for the first time. And yes, whilst it was conceptually interesting and beautifully drawn, I didn't for one minute think it deserved it's spot at #29 on the IMDB Top 250. There was no character development, storyline or defining 'moment' of the movie, like most of the films up on that list.

    So, enlighten me, why does Spirited Away deserve the critical acclaim it has received?

    I know you've probably moved on in life by this point BUT I've watched Spirited Away 3 times now and after the first time I was exactly like you, I didn't understand why it is as popular as it is. After watching other Studio Ghibli films and thoroughly enjoying them I gave it another chance and I started to get the hype.

    There are lots of little bits which make this film really good (not going to go into too much detail) which I don't know how any one could come up with them but it makes it a really magical experience! I hope you choose to give it another chance like I did but will understand if not
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    OP sounds terribly pretentious
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    I don't rate it that much either, seen it probably 3 or 4 times? I think it is good film, just not as good as iMDB has rated it. I feel like it is not a character based movie but more about the fantasy and adventure. It is quite odd tbh. I much prefer The Cat Returns
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    I know what you mean. A good film sure, and beautiful to watch, but not one of the best ever.
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    I didn't watched yet.
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    (Original post by Nirgilis)
    Last night I watched Spirited Away for the first time. And yes, whilst it was conceptually interesting and beautifully drawn, I didn't for one minute think it deserved it's spot at #29 on the IMDB Top 250. There was no character development, storyline or defining 'moment' of the movie, like most of the films up on that list.

    So, enlighten me, why does Spirited Away deserve the critical acclaim it has received?

    p
    Critics probably love that Spirited Away is much deeper than it appears at face value; while, at the same time, never losing the entertainment value. It's never clearly esoteric and each scene seems to carry a universal message which further perpetuates an important notion of the film's context for the wider audience to relate to. Like the bathhouse stink spirit scene and its underlying statement on environmentalism and the inherent consequences of pollution, for example.
 
 
 
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