Last night I was fortunate enough to catch a sneak preview of Hayao Miyazaki’s new animated movie Sprited Away (Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi), thanks to James Seo who obtained an original Japanese copy with English subtitles. Miyazaki was propelled into
the spotlight when his last movie, Princess Mononoke, was dubbed in English with a stellar cast; it appears that Disney will be releasing this one in US theaters on September 20th, complete with flashy website to hype it.
The lowdown? Another masterpiece, pushing the envelope on animation, with a slew of new perspectival and 3D effects that are impossible for me to give justice to with words. I was awestruck again by the brilliance of Miyazaki’s stories, which sucked me in within seconds and spit me out only a few minutes before the end (Princess Mononoke suffered from similar cheese-related issues late in the story) Oh, and did I mention that it’s so cute it’ll make you puke? The cast includes (but is not limited to):
- an adorable 12 year old girl protagonist with spindly little legs and big feet
- an overweight hamster that has to be flown around by his little mosquito buddy
- thousands of little jumping balls of fluffy ash with big eyes that eat lucky charms for dinner
Like Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro, something about Miyazaki’s style in Spirited Away clicks with me: he toys with my emotions and makes me beg for more. I’ll definitely be seeing this one again in the theater, but as with every other anime I’ve seen, I’m sure the original Japanese voices will be superior to whoever Disney decides to cast.