Last night I saw Spirited Away. I first heard about the film shortly before its release in Japan, and finally it is getting a limited release here. It opened in Austin at 3 theaters, which is more than I expected. Our showing had a good attendance, and one earlier in the day had even sold out.
That Spirited Away is original and brilliant shouldn’t surprize anyone who has seen Miyazaki’s previous films. I have only seen 3 others (Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro, and Princess Mononoke). There is a lot to take in from this one. In fact, after a few failed attempts at writing a critique where you see this sentence, I’m going to wait on giving my personal interpretation and instead just say: go see it.
From an Animation World Network profile of Miyazaki:
"With Spirited Away he had noticed that some of his granddaughter's friends, girls about 10 years old, seemed very apathetic, only interested in passively watching modern popular culture, unaware of Japan's rich cultural past. He felt that he should make a film for 10-year-old girls that would both introduce them to their heritage and encourage them to develop a sense of self-reliance and responsibility."
AWN also has an interview with husband-and-wife writing team Cindy Davis Hewitt and Donald H. Hewitt on adapting Spirited Away to English.