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on 23 April 2011
I saw the film of Spirited away some years ago and remember it fondly.I have resisted buying the picture books of Myazaki's films as they can be a wee bit expensive.However,the temptation to get this one was too strong.Well,I'm glad I did get it as there are some very interesting differences from the film.Apart from this the whole concept of a book of a film is that you can just stare and stare at a page that facinates you and really absorb the pictures.I enjoy reading written books of course but now and again it is good to study the pictures AND drawings of the artists who created the film.I am very interested in animation and cartoons because you can draw whatever takes your fancy and if you want,bring it to life.I thoroughly enjoyed the film but I would have liked to constantly pause it to savour some,well a lot,of great scenes.With a book,this is entirely the purpose.There is one picture/scene in the book where Chihiro,the main 10 year old character,stands still in a field after going through an entrance archway.In the film the shot pans around across the field and up a slight rise,the book just prints it across two pages and I prefere the book as it truly represents what you see.There is even a stone idol that adds so much extra to the picture and the way the grass is drawn,absolutely brilliant.I couldn't help but watch the film again after reading this book just to compare the two.I think even the colours used in both are carefully matched.What also intrigued me was the difference in the front cover of the book and the inlay of the dvd.Both show Chihiro in that memorable pose but the backgrounds are totally different.The dvd cover crams in all the characters but the book,just a select few.I found that this made me go back and study the dvd inlay more closely.As the saying goes,'don't judge a book by it's cover'but that is precisely what we all seem to do.If it doesn't appeal to us we move on,so first impressions do count.One of the other pictures that caught my eye was that of Chihiro sulking in the back seat of the car on the way to her new home clutching a bunch of flowers given as a goodbye present.I think this struck a chord with the creators too as there are several slightly differing sketches.It's also the final picture of the book in the back pages and on the removable jacket.My favourite one is of huge trainers being uppermost and showing some bags and a vacuum flask packed for the journey,very appropriate.Attention to detail is what strikes the reader and this was a particular comment made by Studio Ghibli,that their artists add seemingly extra detail as they believe,as I do,that it adds depth and visual reward to the whole which is why Myazaki is now so well known and loved.The thought has just occured to me that there are what I like to call 2D,two dimensional,and 3D,three dimensional drawings.In an unrelated series of books called Kilala Princess by Disney,the Japanese artist has shown the well known Disney characters in their usual 2D presentation but right next to them some typical Japanese characters in 3D.It's not difficult to spot when you've seen the difference.This is expressed in showing wind in someones hair or the swirling of a dress,rippling in a tee shirt or the well known wave effect of grass.These are all presented here in this book along with a whole raft of superb images that make you glad you've got eyes.
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on 24 September 2012
My only issue here is the sticker on the front claiming it to be Disney's academy award winning film. We all know that this isn't the case, in fact Spirited Away beat that year's Disney feature.
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on 12 May 2015
I bought this for my 9 year old niece and she loved it. I also purchased the 'The art of Miyazaki's spirited away' for myself which is beautiful and perfect for the older fan!
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on 5 January 2013
bought it for my daughter she loved it it goes with the dvd that she has a beautifull book for everyone
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on 13 October 2014
Stunning book. A must have!
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on 5 June 2014
Great gift, as expected. However the book was slightly damaged in the corner which was a real shame as I was giving it as a gift.
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