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“Spirited Away” – A Hand-Drawn Masterpiece

The movie “Spirited Away” is a hand-drawn classic masterpiece by master animator Hayao Miyazaki. This form of animation is all but extinct in the western movie industry and is considered incredibly rare and very expensive to make. In the earlier days of animation, all of them used the method of hand-drawing each action prior to filming. The resulting movement seemed jerky and stuttering. As film and techniques advanced so did the quality of physics for animated films. However, the basic method for creating animation still remains the same and the manual method of drawing each “frame” by hand continued on for quite some time. Spirited away is among the last movies made with hand drawn frames which by itself is a rarity when it was made. The downfall is that although it has the value of being “hand-made” it also entailed extremely labor-intensive work and because of that it is more expensive to make than digitally animated film.

Hand-Drawn Masterpiece

What Parents Need to Know Before Showing The Film to Their Kids

     Parents need to know that while Spirited Away is an animated masterpiece, it is full of creepy and frightening creatures, such as No Face, in its fantasy-themed world. This could be an upsetting experience for younger viewers so it would be wise to stay with them throughout the film. Children used to “sanitized” films will definitely need parental guidance. This is a complex movie with complex plots and themes. A definite watch for older kids but needs to be discussed afterward, as this is not a black and white movie which has bad vs good delineations. As the movie tackles some social issues such as greed and gluttony, an awesome way to enjoy the movie would be to discuss each of these issues with the kids after watching the movie.

The Movie Itself

     This is not some sanitized Disney movie with prince and princesses. The movie starts with a spoiled girl who is forced to overcome her fears and her selfishness to rescue her parents. Both the heroine and the characters around her all get some transformation for the better towards the end of the movie. This movie especially shows that even the worst people can be redeemable and can have that redeeming quality about them no matter what they have done in the past. This is, in fact, a wonderful coming of age story – from a spoiled little brat who the comes out full of awareness and of responsibility for her actions.

An Insight into Japanese Folklore and Culture

    This is simply one of the best anime films out there to give anyone a simple and unobstructed view of Japanese folklore and culture. A parent who would like their kids to understand other cultures should have this movie in their library. Very interesting especially if you have some basic grasp of Japanese culture. A little reading by parents about Japan would help extremely well when after movie discussions with kids.

A True Masterpiece

    The beauty and the diverse creatures in the fantasy world created by Hayao Miyazaki lie in the fact that this is one of the last hand-drawn animations before computers took over. An amazing movie to watch with kids of all ages, while paying particular attention to younger children who need guidance during the showing of the movie.