Image 8/18/09

Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away is too good to be true. Quite possibly the best animated movie I have ever seen. Think The Wizard Of Oz meets Twin Peaks and you'll understand what kind of trip it is. Miyazaki has always had a way of telling a story in his own, uniquely imaginative way. Here he encompasses all the promise he first brought in his earlier films and knocks all of those out with this one, a story that encompasses the same themes he's worked with since the beginning of his career -friendship, love, dreams- and make his grand opera out of sheer wild lunacy. Chiiro, the film's heroine, is a little girl that gets lost and swept up into a furiously colorful but dark world that has the most creatively imaginable characters you have ever seen in an animated movie. The way Miayazaki uses colors here is extraordinary, especially when you find out that he still animates his films the old school way and with as little special effects machinery as possible. It's a beautiful work of art that rightly gets name checked in any animation student's book. I can guarantee you've never seen anything quite like this one. It's very dreamy- right up my alley- and features scene after scene of Ecstasy and inventiveness. Every director is known for a certain movie or creation. Miyazaki will always be known for Spirited Away.