A/V Room









Spirited Away (PG)

Review by: Graeme Kay | Rating: Two

AN ABSOLUTELY magical manga-adventure from the master of genre, Hayao Miyazaki, whose last film was the highly acclaimed Princess Mononoke.

Chihiro and her parents are moving house, but 10-year-old Chihiro is not happy about it.

After all, she is losing all her old friends and who knows what the kids in the new neighbourhood will be like.

Consequently, on the way to her new home, Chihiro throws a hissy fit in the back seat of the car.

Possibly distracted by his daughter's histrionics, papa san takes a wrong turn and the trio end up in front of a mysterious mansion.

Chihiro is afraid. She doesn't like the place, it gives her the spooks; so when her parents decide to explore the long tunnel that leads into the interior of the building, she refuses to go with them.

However, the prospect of being left alone is even more daunting and she quickly changes her mind, following mum and dad into the passage.

Eventually, the trio arrive in a strange town, apparently deserted despite the presence of hot food in all its restaurants.

Feeling more hungry than afraid, Chihiro's mother and father, but not their daughter, greedily partake of the food on offer and are immediately turned into pigs.

Left alone in this strange, ghostly new world, inhabited by gods and characters from Japanese mythology, the terrified Chihiro realises she must grow up fast if she is to save her parents from being turned into bacon.

Subsequently, with the help of one of the inhabitants, the enigmatic Haku, she takes a job in a bathhouse owned by the sinister Madame Yubaba….

What follows, as Chihiro undertakes her quest, is a fabulously illustrated, cleverly scripted work that covers all bases, from the humorous to the hallucenagenic, taking in scary, philosophical, thrilling, tender and satirical along the way.

An Alice in Wonderland for the 21st Century, which will appeal to adults and older children.

Brilliant, brilliant, and what's more… brilliant!!!

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