catapult magazine

catapult magazine


Spirited Away


Oct 30 2002
06:24 pm

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything. College sure keeps you busy.

Well, I was wondering if any of you have seen Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, it’s the newest anime in select theaters in the United States. Its reviews have been nothing less than spectacular getting only 4 and 5 stars, in letter grades the lowest I have seen is a B+.

I went and saw it with friends a couple of weeks ago. The movie reminds me of a slightly darker and definitely much more Japanese version of Alice in Wonderland. I would love to talk about it if anyone’s interested.

cheese it.


Nov 01 2002
09:13 pm

Yeah this movie rocks. I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it. The imagery really sticks in your head. Aparently it is the highest grossing film in Japanese history and we have the luxury of watching it dubbed into English without subtitles (works well with animation).

I couldn’t help comparing it to Harry Potter even though HP isn’t an animation. What do children come away with after watching HP? Maybe they wish they had special powers or could fly on broomsticks. Harry is born special and his story is merely him fulfilling his destiny. It’s almost like predestination. Spirited Away provides a lovely contrast to this.

I will not attempt to explain the plot in detail as it’s rather outlandish. The story is of an ordinary girl, a spoiled brat, immature, dependent 7 or 8 year old. The story begins with the girl and her parents stumbling by accident into the world of the spirits. Her parents can’t stop eating all the lovely food and are turned into pigs and she is forced into a sort of slavery in a house full of spirits. Through the film we watch her mature and she finally manages to free her parents and herself. In this regard it’s a worthwhile story that encourages children to take responsibility. In other words she’s a real hero.

But the other thing I found so utterly remarkable is in the course of the movie we are taught WHY it’s good to do good. She truly cares about those around her and is a fine example of loving her neighbor as herself. And all the people she helped out ultimately save her and help her rescue her parents. Now that’s an important message to get across to kids.

Did anybody get anything that significant from Harry Potter? As I recall there was some completely disconnected reference toward the end of the film to “the power of love” but Harry doesn’t really embody any real sort of love or caring, does he? I don’t mean to start a discussion on Harry Potter here but if someone wants to discuss this [champion of literacy, king of cross-marketing, bane of substance, great-sucking-sound of time-that-could-have-been-better-spent] I’d suggest you start another thread so we can keep this one for Spirited Away which you should go out and see this weekend if you haven’t seen it yet.


Nov 04 2002
08:30 am

I really have to say I agree with you on this one. The main character herself is totally and completely human. She has no powers and special abilities and she is surrounded in this mystical scary world in which she must survive and save her parents. She is no Harry Potter. She’s not magically destined to be a witch, dragon or sorcerer, she is simply a girl who must change to survive. She must grow up to confront these problems but at the same time she maintains her innocence as a child.

Yeah, take our advice go see Spirited Away.


Mar 27 2003
08:24 pm

Well, Spirited Away got an Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

Now you have another reason to see it.


Mar 31 2003
04:04 pm

I was really glad to see it take the Oscar. For those who didn’t get to see it the first time around. It has been re-released in 800 theatres in the US.

I really loved this movie. I didn’t get as much out of Princess Mononoke. (I just don’t think Eastern archetypes are as meaningful to me.) Spirited Away was definitely something I connected to though. I think the posts above hit the nail on the head. It’s a story of a little kid learning to be brave using only her little kid stuff.


Jul 19 2003
07:51 pm

I’m picking up all these old threads. My sister bought Spirited Away for me a couple months ago. It’s wild. Truly wild. And yes, it’s way better to watch it in the japanese and read the subtitles. And I have to say that I liked Princess Monoke even better. It was far more serious and solemn than Spirited Away and the deer god was breathtaking.