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Miyazaki's Spirited Away U.S. Release 227

soupforare writes "Spirited Away is slated for a US limited theatre release in on Sep. 27th nausicaa.net has a theatre listing and some more info. It looks like some theatres are even going to be showing the subtitled version." No showings near me, but hopefully those prints will make it around. Been wanting to see this one for a long time.
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Miyazaki's Spirited Away U.S. Release

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  • I've actually never heard of it...

    am I the only one? :(
    • It's a little movie.. in the sense that the Titanic was a little boat. Working on that tangent.. this movie outgrossed "Titanic" in Japan and is the only movie thusfar to have grossed over $200 million.. without setting foot in North American theaters. And it was done entirely by hand (save for cg backgrounds).

      It's also the film that won the Berlin film festival and praise from almost every critic I can think of. TOo bad it'll be relegated as arthouse fare.

      In synopsis, it's an Alice in Wonderland type story inspired by a friend's daughter. A ten year old girl and her family go on a trip together, through a tunnel to what looks like an amusement park, when the girl gets lost and the fantasy begins. Every kind of fantasmagoric creature from anyone's dreams apears...

      Can't wait for it.
    • It's a Japanese anime, but it has become the highest grossing movie in Japanese history.

      Roger Ebert has a story on it [suntimes.com] though is review seems to be missing at the moment (he loved it... so did Roeper).

      The IMDB entry is here [imdb.com].


  • I'm really tired of the japanese enforcing their culture on all of the rest of us earth-dwellers. I mean come on! I can't even walk down the street with out tripping over a sushi restaurant, or an anime video store. Now they're taking over disney! Is nothing sacred! /sarcasm

    Read this interesting article detailing how japan can leverage it's cultural roots to overcome it's economic hardships:
    Japan's Gross National Cool [foreignpolicy.com]

    Then, on a less serious, unrelated note, read:
    Ricard Gere's Ass Zoo [lostbrain.com]

    • by Flounder ( 42112 )
      And American culture isn't forced down the throats of the rest of the world. Try going anywhere in the world and not see a damn Coke or Pepsi machine. How about McDonalds in Moscow or Beijing? What about how the Germans are subjected to repeated assaults of David Hasselhoff singing?

      It's a very limited release, and it's something that I'm looking forward to. Hell, I'd like to see more foreign releases in American theatres, and less of the tripe that's currently in circulation (Pluto Nash anyone??). Seeing Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon on the big screen in full DTS sound WITH SUBTITLES was one of the best movie-going experiences I've had in a long time. Wish I could have seen Mononoke Hime in a theatre.

      • I'm really tired of the japanese enforcing their culture on all of the rest of us earth-dwellers. I mean come on! I can't even walk down the street with out tripping over a sushi restaurant, or an anime video store. Now they're taking over disney! Is nothing sacred! /sarcasm

        Sarcasm tag highlighted for the benefit of the humor impaired.

        • Sarcasm tag highlighted for the benefit of the humor impaired.

          Man, I feel stupid now for that rant. I need to clean my monitor and/or glasses.

          • I missed the "/sarcasm" at first and got really angered. *chuckle* To say that the Japanese are taking over Disney is soooo wrong! It's much the other way around. Disney began with their theft way back when. (remember Lion King?) They claimed they didn't even know of Miyazaki and his other classics.... but then next thing we know Disney has all the rights to Miya's films. *chuckle* Sure... they didn't know... HA!
      • Otherwise the Coke machine would not make money and the owner would remove it, same goes for Mcdonalds. Not that I'm saying its my god given right to buy a big mac in china but you get the idea.

    • Holy shit, you really like to give the moderators a challenge, huh?

      That was funny, flamebait, off-topic, and informative!
    • Quite a few years ago, I was thumbing through some entertainment magazine and an interview with some TV type. I think they were some executive from FOX back when FOX was shocking everyone with its out-of-nowhere hipness. There was some comment about ethnic cultures becoming pop-culture and how "black culture" was the current trend. Then the executive noted that Japanese culture would be the next big thing.
    • Wow. If not for that "/sarcasm", I might have thought you were serious.

      By the way, "Cheese Nips" and "Coffee Nips" are deragatory products and should be pulled from supermarket shelves.

  • mononoke was brilliant and certainly the best anime i've ever seen in a theatre i hope i'm not expecting to much but this should be incredible
  • by zaren ( 204877 )
    And here I was hoping to take my boy to see it, since he's a big Toonami fan. I should have known that if Taco said he couldn't see it, I wasn't either, since we live in the same area. Oh well, guess we'll have to settle for the Monsters, Inc. DVD that's coming from Netflix tomorrow...
    • Monster's Inc is actually worth buying on DVD, if just for the second disc. Wal-Mart here has it for $14.87, same price as the VHS release.
  • Comment removed (Score:3, Informative)

    by account_deleted ( 4530225 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:50PM (#4294699)
    Comment removed based on user account deletion
    • And I'm going to go see it at the Uptown theater in Minneapolis this weekend. There's an anime club on campus and I just got a poster for it tonight as the theater sent us a bunch of them. It looks excellent and I can see from the poster the Ghibli look that Totoro had is in there too.

      Can't wait.

    • Grump grump grump. No showings in Vancouver (yet). I may have to drive to Seattle to watch it next weekend.

      Even though the dub is showing, I think it will be just fine - Lasseter is an artist with integrity himself, so I expect it will be very well-done.

      Here's hoping he does versions for theatricals of Totoro, Laputa, and Nausicaa as well.

    • Toronto is another one of those cities. Actually, it played here September 7th (dub) and 9th (sub) at the Toronto International Film Festival. I tried to get tickets, but was denied. I'm going to try and head to a matinee this afternoon, yipee! I hope this film does well, so that I can see more anime films at my local theatre. For those who need convincing, check out some reviews here [usatoday.com], and here [cnn.com].
  • by gnguyen ( 162230 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:51PM (#4294702)
    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/SpiritedAway-11160 64/ [rottentomatoes.com]

    I've had the wonderful opportunity to see this movie several times already. It's my favorite Miyazaki flick. It's great eye-candy and wonderful fantasy. Highly recommended. See it in the best theater you can.
  • by jdbo ( 35629 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:51PM (#4294704)
    ..which includes a brief interview with Miyazaki.

    Here 'tis [suntimes.com].

    It's a rather fawning bit, but this seems to me to be one of the rare interviews in which the director isn't just puffing up his work, but actually discussing it.

    Besides, this movie looks to be that good. I grabbed a VCD bootleg of this in Taiwan many moons ago, and despite the crappy transfer quality + lack of dubbing/subtitles, I watched the entire first half before I began to feel lost (stopped after that so that I could enjoy the movie in its full-fledged form more). Miyazaki is a fine, fine visual storyteller, and by all accounts so far, the dub (lead by John Lassetter of Pixar fame) is an achievement in of itself.
  • Fun.
  • by sdo1 ( 213835 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:53PM (#4294717) Journal
    Rather than clicking through, here's the "deep link"... I didn't see anything in their TOS restricting my posting of this... and even if I had, it wouldn't have mattered.

    Theater listing for Spirited Away in the U.S. and Canada [nausicaa.net]


  • This movie was a special sneak preview at the 29th Telluride Film Festival, Labor Day Weekend. It played twice and was well recieved. I saw the first showing and I was pretty impressed. TFF also premiered Mononoke when it came out a couple years ago.

    Of the 2 movies, I think that Mononoke is better. The story is a little more enjoyable for me. Spirited Away has the excellent animation that you'd expect from Miyazaki, and the excellent voice acting that we've come to expect from Disney. All in all, It's a great translation and a good film. I think it's geared towards a slghtly younger audience than Mononoke was though.
  • Then why not buy it? (Score:5, Informative)

    by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:55PM (#4294733) Homepage
    Been wanting to see this one for a long time.

    Then why haven't you bought it on DVD? [newdvd.cc]
    • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:16PM (#4294816)

      Buy the Japanese R2 release from cdjapan.co.jp, animaxis.com, or animenation.com, or you could wait for the US release.

        • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:35PM (#4294901)
          Think harder.

          Both links you posted are of illegal bootlegs.

          NO legit Spirited Away dvd is "All Region"

          BOTH of those sites are KNOWN for exclusively selling bootlegs, especially discoutanimedvd.

          The LEGIT Japan release of the movie was published by Buena Vista Japan.

          • He's right, unfortunately; we're used to seeing a lot of this question come up to Ghiblink (Nausicaa.net team).

            Buena Vista Japan is responsible for all the Ghibli DVD releases there, and they /are/ all Region 2. That said, the legit Region 2 DVD from BVJ /is/ already released, and /does/ have English subtitles; if you have a regionless player (or DVD-ROM drive), you can still play it subtitled. :)
            • Well I have to ask...

              Where can I purchase legitimate DVDs of Anime that have the original Japanese mastering, but with English subtitles? It's the only way that I like to watch them... and if I wait for the US release they have invariably made English the primary track and destroyed the mastering of the Japanese track.

          • The LEGIT Japan release of the movie was published by Buena Vista Japan

            Isn't Disney the company that keeps on lobbying to change copyright laws so that they can sit on Mickey Mouse for all of eternity?

            I say fuck them.

      • There are two licensed R3 release from Hong Kong, a Cantonese dub, and the original Japanese version (with English subtitles), which is about half the price of the Japanese R2 release, see:

        http://us.yesasia.com/en/PrdDept.aspx?pid=100183 85 64&did=0&code=c&section=anime&

        There also are, or will be soon, licensed R3 versions from Taiwan and Korea. For Chinese readers, the Taiwanese DVD is described at:

        http://bvhe.bvi.com.tw/event/ghibli_spiritedaway .h tm

        Bottom line: If a DVD of a Miyazaki film claims to be "all region", it's almost certainly a bootleg. If it has a region code, it is probably an authorized release. For further information on bootleg versions, see:

        http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/video/answers.h tm l


      • Hmmm... however the prices are rather staggering: $60 at animenation and a bit over $40 at cdjapan.co.jp - I must admit, I am takenaback by such prices.
    • That disc being sold on newdvd.cc looks an awful lot like a bootleg release. Wouldn't you rather buy an official US release, to encourage distributors to bring us more great stuff from overseas? As much as I hate Disney, I'm still planning to vote with my wallet.
      • by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:25PM (#4294857) Homepage
        Wouldn't you rather buy an official US release, to encourage distributors to bring us more great stuff from overseas?

        No, I'd rather still buy the official Japanese release, encouraging the MPAA to realize that Region coding is fucking stupid.
        • The official Japanese release is R2 encoded.

          You'd be better off simply NOT buying it than hurting Ghibli by encouraging the bootlegging of its titles.

          While we don't like the MPAA, we shouldn't support those who exist by TRULY illegal means.
          • You'd be better off simply NOT buying it than hurting Ghibli by encouraging the bootlegging of its titles.

            Then buy the official Ghibli release. [discountanimedvd.com]

            It's still better than the theater release, because it has English subtitles instead of crap-ass Disney dubbing.
            • by Anonymous Coward
              Because that release is a Chinese bootleg release!!!

              I own the official release (Region 2), and not only is the box art vastly different, there are no Chinese subtitles.

              Here's a link to the official version (Japanese language site)
              http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0 0005S8L I/ref=d_hp_rs_4_2/249-5227087-1673154

            • Or you could wait for the American DVD, which will almost certainly have the dub and the sub, and play in USA DVD players that aren't region-hacked to boot.
            • Then buy the official Ghibli release.

              This is not the official release, but a bootleg. The official release is region-coded. See nausicaa.net

              There are official releases for Japan, Hongkong and Taiwan. All of them are region-coded.
        • No, I'd rather still buy the official Japanese release, encouraging the MPAA to realize that Region coding is fucking stupid.

          And this is what I have been saying about the region coding system! It is backfiring on them! You see, whenever there is a popular import movie out now the only way to get a version that will play properly for everyone is to get a chinese bootleg. Therefore, everyone loses! MPAA!=smart

        • As you can see if you READ OTHER POSTS he has no clue what he's talking about.
    • Yes, That probably is a bootleg, as well as some of the other links... if the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.

      Chinese bootlegers take the japan release dvd or record it from japan tv and release it on dvd region free with mandrin and sometimes english subtitles.

      If you ever buy foriegn release anime.. take some time to make sure its a real copy.
    • was in japan last week. the damn thing is on sale *everywhere*.

      two reasons prohibiting:
      1) region code: yeah sure by-passable, blah blah. but not for everyone. and one more reason mpaa / riaa sucks elephant trunk
      2) jesus christ they were like 40bux a pop!!! in fact, ALL japanese DVDs were about that much (4000 - 4500 yen). no wonder they poped up something called a region code, eh? certainly can't have people buying legit copies of US version movies and selling them half-price in japan now, can we.
  • by be_all ( 524610 ) <matt@NoSPam.be-all.net> on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:56PM (#4294740)
    Saw the trailer [apple.com] on Apple [apple.com] a couple weeks ago. Pretty cool. Very long, too.
  • Only in Toronto for us canooks :(
  • by Flounder ( 42112 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @10:59PM (#4294753)
    Opening on Sept 27

    KIPS BAY, Manhattan
    86TH ST. EAST, Manhattan
    PAVILION, Brooklyn, NY
    MIDWAY, Forest Hills, NY
    FARMINGDALE 14, Farmingdale, NY
    SOUNDVIEW CINEMAS, Pt. Washington, NY
    WESTCHESTER 10, Hawthorne, NY
    LOEWS ROUTE 4, Paramus, NJ (Tentative)
    EDGEWATER 16, Edgewater, NJ
    EAST HANOVER 12, East Hanover, NJ
    CLAIRIDGE, Montclair, NJ
    WHITE FLINT, Kensington, MD
    AMC CENTURY CITY Los Angeles, CA
    BEVERLY CENTER Los Angeles, CA
    MONICA, Santa Monica, CA
    PLAYHOUSE, Pasadena, CA
    GALLERIA, Sherman Oaks, CA
    AMC PROMENADE, Woodland Hills, CA
    AMC THE BLOCK, Orange, CA
  • by DarienJax ( 610108 ) <jax.meikon@homeip@net> on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:04PM (#4294773) Homepage
    I had the good fortune to see the US premier of this movie last Tuesday at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood.

    First off, the showing itself was wonderful -- it's a very nice old-style theater with a balcony and a curtain in front of the screen. The movie was digitally projected, and it looked perfect to me. It was also very nice not having any commercials/trailers at the beginning -- they did some light effects, opened and few curtains and the first thing on the screen was the blue Studio Ghibli screen (and the whole audience applauded at that).

    The movie itself is a great movie. Miyazaki did make it for 10-year old girls, but it can appeal to anyone, I think. The feel was a bit like Alice in Wonderland, with a young girl finding this world of spirits and monsters where she meets interesting people and has some adventures (if you really want a good review, there are others out there). Basically, if you have a chance, go see it. I did see the dub, and it was actually fine; after a bit everything just started flowing and I stopped noticing that it was dubbed (I'm generally a big sub-snob for watching anime).

    Miyazaki himself was there for a short interview after the movie; he was asked various questions, first mainly about Spirited Away, and then some audience questions ranging from if he's going to work on the Seven Samurai anime (no, he's opposed to it), to if he's ever going to do more in the worlds of Totoro (never), Laputa (never) or Lupin III (never; he leaves that world to others).

    Anyway, very cool experience. If you're in the LA area, El Capitan will be showing Spirited Away for a month or so, mostly in English, but a few showings in Japanese, subbed, and while Miyazaki won't be there, it should be a great place to see it.

    -Darien Jax
  • by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:05PM (#4294774)
    Watch Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind. (There is, of course, a page for it on nausicaa.net ... but for obvious reasons, you're not going to be able to visit it for a few hours now.) It's only available as a fansub, but it's well worth it -- IMO, it's the best anime I've ever seen. (And many of the themes explored in it were carried directly over into Princess Mononoke.) Spirited Away was also an amazing movie, and I hope that it's showed in my area at some point ... but Nausicaa was Miyazaki's best work.
    • I've got to say that I disagree with this. Nausicaa is very good, but it really pales in comparison to the manga.

      Kiki's Delivery Service (also Miyazaki for those who don't know) is my all-time favourite movie (of any genre), and one of the few where I enjoy the dub as much as the sub (Kirsten Dunst was perfect as Kiki :)

      Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind is without a doubt my favourite manga. An incredibly strong, detailed storyline, beautiful drawing. The anime suffered due to the fact that the manga was not complete when the anime was made.
      • That and the licensor pissed Miyazaki off by mutilating it and the dub, then retitling it.

        This is why all of Ghibli's contracts with Disney include a no-edits-allowed clause.
        • Miyazaki actually disowned the dubbed release claiming that it was not his work. Basically over 30 minutes of footage was stripped out of the film because the licensor throught that the action was not fast enough.

          It was not for another 10 years after that incident that Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli would even consider anyone approaching them about producing a dub of any of their films in English again.

      • by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:56PM (#4294981)
        Part of why Nausicaa was so good was because it had all the background of the manga behind it -- and it really shows. Although the world in the movie is simplified (otherwise, it would have been as long as the "Lord of the Rings") the amount of background behind the story is apparent. Anyway, I don't think that having an alternative version of the story should take anything away from the movie. It just lets you enjoy it twice as much.

        Kiki's Delivery Service was a good movie as well (... my list of 'favorite anime' pretty much would have all of Miyazaki's stuff to start it...), although not as memorable as Nausicaa or Princess Mononoke. Obviously, of course, a large part of the difference is a difference in taste -- the target and themes of those movies are rather different. As others have said, Spirited Away bears much more resemblance to Kiki than Princess Mononoke, and so will appeal to different people.

        Oh, while I'm talking -- for those of you lucky enough to go see Spirited Away, keep an eye out for the attention to detail, especially in Chihiro's movements. The realism of the little things just blew me away -- it's something that you just don't see in Disney movies. I guarantee you'll be impressed.

  • by Guppy ( 12314 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:05PM (#4294775)
    The legitimate region 2 DVDs can be had for around $50-60 from import DVD sites like cdjapan.co.jp -- and it has English subtitles.

    The only issue (besides the region) is the color balance, which has a slight reddish tint which some people find annoying. Interestingly enough, according to Nausicaa.net [nausicaa.net], this was done deliberately so that it would look right when played on plasma or lcd screens.
    • I've seen this one also - I bought a copy while holidaying in Singapore last month, buying a copy of the region 3 DVD. I've not seen Mononoke.

      Verdict: I quite enjoyed it, as did my son (age 12) and daughter (age 8 - though she found some parts scary), and I would recommend it. No idea, alas, when it is likely to hit Australia (I live in Sydney). No sign of Mononoke either ...

  • Just saw it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ProfessorPuke ( 318074 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:06PM (#4294777)
    I saw this two days ago at a theater in Cambridge (which isn't TOO far from Taco's stomping ground, I thought).

    It's a fine movie if you like Miyazaki's work, although its somewhat less "normal" than his other projects. It's targeted at younger folks than Mononoke Hime was, and lacks the violent action. In fact it turns out to be quite similar to his previous Kiki's Delivery Service (a pre-teen girl looks for a job around the intersection of magic and the real world). This one is a bit more disney-like though, with some more overt antagonism than Kiki faced.

    Like Mononoke, you can occasionally see places where the animation budget was preserved, but it detracts not at all.

    The dub is just as good as Mononoke Hime's was- that is to say not perfect, there are moments of awkardness when they were obliged to be additionally verbose to help out us slow Americans. But there's nothing as painfully bad as the Gillian Anderson-techno-reverb wolf voice the end of Mononoke suffered from.

    • a few lines of SPOILER SPACE ...





      Two things that bothered me:

      • Hakul's dragon form shouldn't have had a wolf-head. Too reminiscent of Mononoke Hime, visually. I mean, a girl tending the wounds of a bleeding white wolf whose head is as large as her body? I've got a poster of the exact same scene.
      • Disney's foley-musicians. I'm not 100% sure this was a mouse-corporation addition, but their fingerprints are all over it. Disney's got a crew of classical musicians who've practiced Peter and the Wolf a few too many times, and who like to synchronize musical tweeters to a character's every blink and gaze. During the scene where Chihiro is nervously descending the stairs, they go absolutely overboard and turn her into a full-fledged calliope.

        The same thing happened in Kiki's Delivery Service too- Kiki was descending a random staircase, and for no reason at all they decided it should play like a piano. They feel a need to stuff in extra stimulation to keep us Yanks in the seats.

      Some relationships to Western myth:

      Most of the magical background was Japan's kami, of course. Ubaga was rather like a cross between an oni and a western witch (but original, all her own).

      Random associations: "don't look back"- like Orpheus' walk out of Hades [pantheon.org], but inverted. (That story also featured the eating of food as a way to bind yourself to a supernatural realm)

      "don't take food meant for the gods"- Odysseus' men did the same [free-online.co.uk], and were punished for it. As pigs [messagenet.com], no less.
      • Funny, I never noticed Haku's wolf head on the dragon until looking again at the DVD just now. Though the movie is full of references to other Miyazaki movies...

        The music was done by Joe Hisaishi [nausicaa.net], though I have not seen the Disney version yet to know whether they've mucked with the excellent music.

  • The movie really isn't anything like Mononoke Hime. It's much more kid-oriented, and mostly feels like a really good, creative Disney movie. Very little violence or action (though there's quite a bit of blood at times). I personally liked it, but a lot of my friends didn't. Just be cautioned: this movie isn't for anyone.

  • I can only hope that they dont try to shift the color balance to red to justify not replacing all the DVD's that were misprinted with the wrong color-balance..
  • The date's a bit off. I live in Minneapolis and I know it starts here tomorrow (at the Uptown Theater, for anybody that knows the area. Probably the biggest screen in town).

    I would imagine New York, LA, etc. would start tomorrow then, too. All part of the big eight or ten markets, if I'm not mistaken-- the above-mentioned three, plus, I dunno, Boston, Miami, Toronto.

    So check your listings, gang, and see it early. Who knows how long it'll stick around?
  • by WickywiK ( 232751 ) on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:33PM (#4294891)
    Ebert & Roeper reviewed it this weekend and loved it. They said that kids will really like it but adults will probably enjoy it more. Apparently Miyazaki almost didn't make this movie. You can hear the review here: http://tvplex.go.com/buenavista/ebertandroeper/tod ay.html
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 19, 2002 @11:48PM (#4294954)
    If you're thinking of seeing this ask yourself what you value in a movie.

    If you just like non-stop action with 2 braincelled heroes like Vin Diesel don't go see this. You'll only get lost half way in and get frustrated.

    If you like a "thinker" movie that challenges your views of the world DO see this movie. You'll also be lost like the action-seeker crowd but it won't bother you and the ending will reward you and explain the entire movie.

    This movie is classic Miyazaki. Although there is a weird sensation when switching from a 3D scene to a 2D scene and vice versa, it is still stuning and there is, unlike many other movies, a story.
  • Excellent movie! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Chembal ( 15397 )
    I just bought this movie on DVD when I was in Japan two weeks ago. It's EXCELLENT! The animation was great, and it had a wonderful storyline. I would definitely recommend seeing it when it hits the theater. Or, if you have or are in the mood for region hacking your DVD player (for those not in region 2) go order the DVD.
  • I'm so happy, the smaller (but nice) independent/alternative film theater right nearby me is showing this, I saw the poster for it today. =D
  • by second class skygod ( 242575 ) on Friday September 20, 2002 @12:08AM (#4295042)
    I know that many movie "experts" consider dubbing as a terrible thing: breaking the director's original vision, etc. For certain foreign movies, I agree. However, for visually rich films like this one is supposed to be, I much prefer dubbing; even bad dubbing. I hate missing what's happening on the rest of the screen while staring at the words on the bottom.
  • Australian Premiere (Score:2, Informative)

    by Zeddicus_Z ( 214454 )
    For Australian Anime lovers, Spirited Away premieres during the JAPANIME festival, which starts October 16th in Sydney.

    More information from this [atomicmpc.com.au] forum thread, as well as here [dendy.com.au].
  • What is interesting about Spirited Away is the fact this is a much more mainstream movie by Studio Ghibli standards, more in the vein of Kiki's Delivery Service or My Neighbor Totoro. Mononoke Hime was actually unusually adult in tone for a Studio Ghibli movie; it is an abherration (sp?) for a studio known better for more family-oriented animated features.
  • I've not seen any anime that I could watch more than a couple of minutes of, while flipping past on Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim".

    I'm not posting here to flame about anime. I'm just wondering if this is finally an example of the genre that will lack the elements that bother me about it.

    Does this have:

    A consistant frame-rate of 12 frames-per-second? That's the biggie. Scenes of movement with low frame-rates just look lazy, rather than stylized, IMO.

    No "Bambi eyes"? The stand-up I saw in a theater a few days ago featured a character that didn't have them, so that looks like a good sign.

    No 2 or 3 drawing cycles. That is another one that really, really looks lazy, where a character stands in a pose "vibrating" in a cycle of a couple of frames.

    Maybe these things don't bother people raised on a steady diet of Hanna-Barbera, but it bugs me.

    Feel free to mod me down, but please don't do it just because you don't like the questions asked.

    • If you hate anime on principle, then yeah, you might hate this as well.

      However, if (as your post seems to imply), you hate anime because the stuff you've seen has lousy animation (As in all things, 99% of anime is crap) ... then give Spirited Away a shot. The animation's about the best I've ever seen. Not as flashy as some, but incredibly well executed. The characters do tend to be a little stylized, but no more so than your traditional Disney fare.

  • Check this link [ritzfilmbill.com] It's apparently playing at the Ritz East [ritzfilmbill.com] in Philadelphia and the Ritz Sixteen [ritzfilmbill.com] in Voorhees, NJ.

    Showtimes are 1:30 pm, 4:15 pm, 7:00 pm, 9:45 pm and 1:15 pm, 4:05 pm, 6:55 pm, 9:45 pm respectively.

  • Hayo Miyazaki attended the Toronto film fest showing earlier this month.

    The film showed at the Uptown Cinema, one of the few remaining cool theaters in this berg. AND he did a Q&A!

    Not that I had tickets, mind you. --And I've been a fan of Miyazaki since before people even knew that Japan had an animation culture to export.

    Whatever. It'll be cool to see the work of such a master on big screens. I've looked over the production sketches and paintings for the film, and it's very nice; some really clever techniques were used. From what I could see, the transition the characters made from the real world to the magical world is clever in similar ways as that done in "Being John Malcovitch".

    Looking forward to this one. There are so few good film makers still allowed to share their works on the screens of the masses. Miyazaki is a wise man with his head screwed on right, has things to say worth hearing and knows how to speak them without offending or condescending. There are not a lot of great teachers left out there. --What with Lucas having been brain-sucked and all!

    -Fantastic Lad

    • Interestingly enough, Roger Ebert interviewed Miyazaki when he attended the Toronto festival a couple of years ago before the production of this film. Miyazaki told him that Princess Mononoke would be his last major film. Last week, Ebert said that Miyazaki was so moved by Spirited Away's story that he decided he just had to make one more.

      Incidentally, whether you like Ebert or not, he is a particularly big anime fan and has given this movie rave reviews.

  • I saw this w/ subtitles here in Japan. It really is a beautiful movie. The characters are instantly authentic, and it has the typical lack of black and white, good vs. evil that separates Japanese and Eastern stories from the traditional 'good vs. evil' central to Western plots...Evil never has any redeeming aspects in Western ideology. (Just ask Bush)

    I'd like to second peoples remarks about Nausica. It is an amazing animation, and the movie is only one story out of a series of manga.

  • I saw the Japanese DVD last week, and I have to admit, I thought this was one of the lower-grade Miyazaki movies. Which means it's still worth watching, especially on a big screen with subtitles, but don't expect too much - I've read reviews that call it the best movie released this year, but everybody (who reads them) knows the SF Weekly writers smoke crack.

    The movie most closesly resembles Ghibli's "Ponpoko," in that it's random misadventures, where the generic lead and generic supporting cast go through a series of misadventures that can't really be called a plot. As opposed to the really cool worlds of other Ghibli movies, the setting is mostly the claustrophobic servant's quarters of a luxury hotel. Once you accept the weirdness of the setting, there really isn't much interesting about it.

    Similarly to Ponpoko, the reason to watch it is for the whimsical animated asides. Monsters look crazy and whatnot. It's not as continually imaginative as the novel _Alice in Wonderland_, or the best anime, but it's still a site to see, and is continually well-drawn. A lot of the monsters incorporate traditional Japanese demons, so it's probably more exotic and overwhelming for an American audience, than it would be for Japanese. I don't know if that's good or bad, though.

    A final note: man, these ten year old girls who have to fend for themselves, but end up making good because of their kindness and plucky spirit, is as big a cliche as anything in American movies. "Princess Mononoke" wasn't my favorite, but I was hoping Miyazaki would continue dealing with more difficult themes, and having more interesting leads. I think this movie was a step back to standard Ghibli - only, without anything special enough make it stand out from what's come before.

  • Saw this one at Gencon in August. The folks running the Anime room had quite a line up, and there's nothing like seeing a new anime materpiece with a bunch of otaku who are also seeing it for the first time. Of course, it brought the house down when it played.

    I'm generally very tough on anime, the storylines aren't usually enough to keep me interested. Didn't much care for Akira, didn't like the new Metropolis, didn't much care for Ghost in the Shell... generally I don't like a lot of Anime that folks tell me I'm supposed to like, but I did like this one.

    This movie reminds me a LOT of the original Neverending Story, which was my favorite film when I was a kid. The animation is unmatched, of course, and the story is very... unique. Such a strange and magical setting, so many unique characters, it was very refreshing to get a good look at someone else's imagination for a change. There were some very good laughs in this film as well.

    I'd highly recommend this one to anybody who is getting sick of Disney's idea of a kid's movie. I'll definitely be catching this one in the theater, and buying it for my collection.
  • A local video store here in Atlanta already has the original Japanese version (with subtitles) on VHS and DVD. If you really want to see this film, get the subtitled version. Disney's doing the dubbing and I know they're going to screw it up. The dubbed version of Princess Mononoke had Billy Bob Thorton playing the priest character. God only knows who they'll get to play these voices.

    If you can only see the dubbed version--definitely still see it. It's one of the best anime I've ever seen. It's got a magical quality to it that reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. It's a very strange story, very surrealistic at times, but something kids will love and adults can really get into. I loved Princess Mononoke but I thought Spirited Away was at least as good.
    • A local video store here in Atlanta already has the original Japanese version (with subtitles) on VHS and DVD. If you really want to see this film, get the subtitled version. Disney's doing the dubbing and I know they're going to screw it up.

      Except for the whole red tint debacle [animeondvd.com] with the region 2 release. In any case, unlike other [nausicaa.net] Ghibli flicks that are still stuck in region 2, this one should be region 1-bound sooner rather than later. And since it'll likely be bilingual (at least), it's probably best to wait for the region 1 version and hope for proper color correction.

  • My daughter (now 6) loves Totoro and Kiki.
    Can I take her to see Spirited Away? Or will it be too scary?

Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. -- F.M. Hubbard