film review: Spirited Away ***1/2

Spirited Away, like so many foreign films, bears little resemblance to American cinema. Yet, because it’s animated, Western audiences have oft-compared the film to favored cuddly hits like Monsters, Inc, Aladdin, and Ice Age.

This month, after winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, it is being re-released in theatres, and the mainstream parallels have finally started to detour. Moviegoers are beginning to realize that this film, directed by Japanese legend Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke), does not prance around in the same wonderland playground as Mickey and friends, and that is a grand admission.

The film starts with a young girl, Chihiro, riding in a car with her parents. When they take a wrong turn, her dad suggests they examine a mysterious tunnel. On the other side, they find what looks like an abandoned theme park, but soon learn that it’s actually a bathhouse for spirits, which take the form of strange monsters. Viewers (who don’t watch “Adult Swim” on Cartoon Network) might find it odd when Chihiro’s parents begin eating food and quickly turn into pigs. Welcome to Miyazaki’s fantastically warped vision.

As the plot progresses it becomes quite scattered, submerging totally into the vivid spirit world where Chihiro becomes a lowly employee. She encounters many spirits and bizzare happenings, leading up to the ending, when she tries to save her parents and herself.

Spirited Away is too far out there for a review to inflate it with rationality. Moreover, it true significance resides in the beauty of the mature animation and music. Chihiro meets many fully conceived creatures along her journey, some friendly and some jerked out of a Pok

April 1, 2003


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web

With the acquisition of the new instrument and an accompanying nanoindenter, studies at the College of Engineering are entering a new and advanced era of materials characterization. ...

University of Miami researchers applaud the scientific inquiry and access to reliable data that accompanies the legalization of cannabis—as four more states recently approved measures, and federal legislation to decriminalize it continues to progress. ...

The prestigious Pan American Art Projects Gallery will donate 25 percent of a virtual, live event to the University Libraries’ parcel. ...

Members of the University of Miami community share their ideas on how to persevere during the pandemic. ...

University and celebrity musicians will participate in a benefit concert on Thanksgiving Day to support the nonprofit organization Nurse Heroes Foundation. ...

TMH Twitter
About Us

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.