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Spirited Away Blu-ray Review

Spirited Away Blu-ray

“Spirited Away” has aged well over the years.

In “Spirited Away,” the story revolves around a young girl (Chihiro) who is bummed about moving to a new town. While en route to her new home, her parents take a shortcut to a deserted amusement park. Upon exploring the park, Chihiro notices that something is very off about the place. He fears are confirmed when her parents are transformed into pigs. After that, Chihiro’s life is turned upside down when she encounters a mysterious boy (Haku) who seems oddly familiar, magic, spirits galore, dragons, a giant baby, bouncing heads, and a troublesome witch (Yubaba) who runs a bath house. Can Chihiro get things back to normal or will she be stuck in this dreamlike spirit world forever?

“Spirited Away” is an animated film that has been heaped with praise since its release. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film, it is often known as filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece, and it frequently appears in lists of the best animated films ever (and even lists of the best films ever). Despite all the acclaim, however, I never fell in love with this film like so many people did. I always felt like I was in the minority on “Spirited Away” as I didn’t connect with it like I did with many of Miyazaki’s other works. With this latest rewatch on Blu-ray though, I have come around on Miyazaki’s magnum opus. It still doesn’t rank as one of my favorite Miyazaki films, but there’s no denying that it is a gorgeous feature film filled with imagination.

Plot wise, there’s really not much going on in “Spirited Away,” but you can forgive that fact because Miyazaki has so many deep ideas floating around about greed, growth, selflessness, possessions, identity, good and evil, friendship, and love. It’s a surprisingly mature film, but more than that, it’s a stunningly original piece of art. Between the visionary world of characters, designs, and locations Miyazaki has created to the unpredictable characters, you never know what will happen in this movie. It’s a real rarity to say that to be sure.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? This Blu-ray disc contains a beautiful hi-def transfer. It was completely worth the LONG wait.

Audio Tracks: Japanese and English 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? The high quality English tracks for Miyazaki films never disappoint me, but the Japanese track is always the way the film is meant to be heard.

Extras:
* Disney trailers.
* DVD copy.
* An intro by John Lasseter.
* “The Art of Spirited Away”- A 15 minute featurette that contains interviews with English and Japanese cast and crew members, film clips, interviews with Miyazaki, scene and character discussions, and more.
* Original Japanese trailers and TV spots.
* Japanese storyboards of the film.
* “Nippon Television Special”- An archival 42 minute Japanese TV special.
* “Behind The Microphone”- A short featurette on the English dub.

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August 5, 2015 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | ,

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