Hayao Miyazaki’s phenomenal animated feature Spirited Away is coming back to US theaters for two nights in December as a way of celebrating its 15th anniversary. Originally released in 2001 (September 2002 for US audiences), the film became the biggest movie of Japanese history, earning nearly $300 million globally and winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards.
Spirited Away will hit theaters on Sunday, December 4th, which will present the film in a subbed version, and Monday, December 5th, which will be the dubbed release that features the voices of Daveigh Chase, Jason Marsden, Susan Egan, David Ogden Stiers, and John Ratzenberger. Ticket information can be found HERE.
‘Spirited Away’ follows 10-year-old Chihiro (Rumi Hiiragi) on another seemingly-boring trip with her parents. However, when they stop at a mysterious village, her parents undergo a puzzling transformation, and she is whisked into a world of fantastic spirits, shape-shifting dragons and a witch who never wants to see her leave. Chihiro must call on the courage she never knew she had to free herself and return her family to the outside world.
I saw Spirited Away in theaters during its initial run. Even though it’s hailed as a children’s film, it bears a great many adult themes and concepts throughout. As an 18-year-old man, I was simply blown away by the film. Obviously, there are the gorgeous visuals and the astonishingly beautiful score by composer Joe Hisaishi (seriously, listen to this man’s stuff) but what drew me in was the seriousness of the story amidst its playful visuals. Although it’s a new world for Chihiro, she quickly learns to take everything in stride while still remaining a good person at heart. It’s one of those movies that more parents should be showing their children as it teaches the right kinds of values.
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