Spirited Away is my favourite Hayao Miyazi movie. It's a departure from his previous films (all of them wonderful), in the sense that this film lacks the themes so common in his other work: humans vs nature, large scale battles being the prime examples. All for the better I say, as it allows him to create something truly unique and stunning. The story revolves around Chihiro, a young girl who, on the way to her new house, stumbles into an abandoned amusement park and is soon transported into a magical world of spirits, gods and human-frog hybrids.
The animation is stunning. Miyazaki truly sees animation as an artform. Many stand out scenes contain no dialogue at all, and are merely animated images creating surreal effects: Chihiro in the lift with the Radish spirit, Chihiro running through the flowers, and the final train ride, where our young protagonist takes a mysterious train journey across a sea, with her spirit friend, No Face. Nothing much happens, it's just simple, colourful, oddly unsettling, and lingers long after the film ends.
The characters are also perfect, and add to strange storyline. There's Kamaji, the multi limbed boiler room operator, Yubaba, the evil witch, and her massive baby child. No Face is a peculiar spirit who turns feral when Chihiro is not around, and finally, Haku, a boy spirit, who shares an emotional scene with Chihiro towards the end of the film.
Colourful, imaginative, interesting, and emotional. Spirited Away is a film you'll want to see time and time again. Buy it.