Spirited Away DVD: Review By danlouis

  • OVERALL
    4.5
    SUPERB
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE FEATURE
On their way home, our heroine Chihiro/Sen and her parents stumble across a seemingly deserted amusement park. They eat like pigs and eventually become them. Anyway, she ends up being forced to work in a bathhouse which is frequented by nature-type spirits. I won't give much away this time folks.

The movie starts with an introduction by John Lasseter. Which kinda reminds me of the old ways that they used to start off The Magical World of Disney.
THE EXTRAS
This 2 DVD set comes packed with various extras, albeit most are there for filler rather than something we'd actually want to watch.

The Art of Spirited Away

This little area from Disc 1 is a short little behind the scenes showing short clips of the writing and voice over duties. After that we have Disney execs babbling about the "values" of the story.

Behind the Microphone

Let's see. A look at the people behind the microphone, or the voices if you will. Featuring Daveigh Chase and Susan Egan among others.

Story to Screen Comparison

It's compromised of various key pictures which lead to their respective scenes for about 10 minutes of comparing goodness.

Nippon Television Special

Strangely named but it takes you inside Studio Ghibli and the process from idea to anime. Listen carefully because its the only time in the entire 2 set without a Disney reference.

Trailers and Other Stuff

About 30 minutes of trailers, trailers of Spirited Away to be specific.
THE VIDEO
Japanese artwork has always amazed me and with Spirited Away it is no different. Presented in 1.85:1 this film doesn't leave anything out. The detail in the backgrounds makes even some of the finest American animations bow their heads in shame.
THE AUDIO
I am in love. A 5.1 Japanese audio track! Don't worry about the 5.1 English track, just pop it into 5.1 Japanese and enjoy. A strange edition is the French Stereo track. Strange, because I can't recall seeing an anime with a French audio track.
THE FINAL WORD
At first, I was afraid when I heard that Disney was bringing this wonderous Japanese anime to America. (Think of how they 'translated' Sailor Moon and you will see why I was cautious). To say I was amazed would be an understatement, it seems as though Disney left this one pretty much alone. Although, there were a few things in the anime that just happened, no questions asked. It is rated PG for some 'scary elements' so it is a film that even youngsters can see. There are a few sections that a few parents might have qualms with though. Either way, Spirited Away is a fine translation from a sometimes lacklustre company.

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