Brunswick Picture House

30 Fingal Street, Brunswick Heads NSW 2483

SUMMER FILM FUN – Spirited Away (G)

Too hot! Too wet or just plain ol’ cabin fever? Come and enjoy a classic all-ages family film in air-conditioned comfort.

Rated: Rated G | Year: 2001 | Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Cast: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino | Running time: 2hr 5mins

“With the technical brilliance of today’s anime combined with a great story that explores the sheer wonder of being a child, Spirited Away is a Wizard of Oz for the 21st century. The analogy isn’t all that far-fetched either, since like the earlier film, Hayao Miyazaki’s film centres around a young girl, swept away to a land beyond her understanding, and her struggle to get home. Certainly, the film is steeped in Japanese mythology and Shinto beliefs (a feature shared with many fine anime films), but this shouldn’t detract from its enjoyment by a Western audience, as the film works on many levels. For younger viewers, the concept of a child hero seeking to rescue adults in a fantasy world populated with both bizarre and cute characters will be instantly appealing (a word of warning though — very young children may find some scenes distressing). For adults, the story is timeless and the visual look is just amazing. Japan has been outdoing Hollywood in the animation stakes for years, and this is another notch in its belt. The design and realisations of the scenes are so ambitious, yet so skilfully executed, there are times you could be excused for thinking you’re watching a live action film. There are a couple of miscues (the No-Face monster being one of them), but these are readily forgiven. The English language version thankfully doesn’t suffer from the translation problems that plagued Perfect Blue, and the voice cast of name American talent does a good job with the material. Spirited Away is destined to be an anime classic. Everything about this film works, and it comes together in such a cohesive way, it’s almost impossible to dislike. What makes it a great film though is its timeless story and wonderful empathy for its characters. One for the ages.”
— Urban Cinefile

Studio Ghibli is respected the world over for its lush animation, attention to detail, and the way its movies can soak its audiences in a mood without any effort at all — a trait many find lacking in most American cartoons. Ghibli’s stories take viewers of all ages seriously, never let commercial concerns get in the way of imagination, and more often than not incorporate female characters in a way that puts the rest of the film industry to shame, animated or live action.

Adult $12 | Conc. $10 | Child 3–15 $8 | Family of 4 $35