Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi [Spirited Away] (2001)

(On DVD, July 2005) I doubted that this film would come up to the expectations set by its impeccable reputation, but it did. Maybe ten minutes before it ends, Spirited Away hits a solid 10 on the charm-o-meter and stays there. This is fantasy as it should be: inventive, original, absorbing and ultimately very compelling. There’s some terrific design in there, wonderful character moments (the soot!) and excellent sequences. The heroine is adorable, and so do most of the characters surrounding her. Fantastic stuff; see it as soon as possible. It’ll win over even the most jaded viewer. The DVD contains a good making-of featurette and a number of other slight pieces.

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