review by Bobby Blakey
Outside of Disney’s usual animated features at one point they also distributed the animated films for the popular Japanese Studio Ghibli films releasing them all on Blu-ray special editions. Shout Factory has since taken the charge with previously releasing a beautiful Collector’s Edition set for the award winning Princess Mononoke. Now they are giving the same treatment to the 2001 fantasy feature Spirited Away for a whole new generation.
Spirited Away follows Chihiro, whose family is moving to a new house, but when they stop on the way to explore an abandoned village, her parents undergo a mysterious transformation and Chihiro is whisked into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the sorceress, Yubaba. Put to work in a magical bathhouse for spirits and demons, Chihiro must use all her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents and return to the normal world. This film is everything you could want in an anime feature with the brilliance of Miyazaki making it so much more. The usual crazy beautiful character designs and situations make this another iconic film from the studio that stands out all on its own. The pure imagination of
these characters and story alone are inspiring, but to see them alive in this film is breathtaking.
Right out of the gate, like most of Miyazaki’s films you know you are in for something special. The animation and attention to detail is amazing and still holds up brilliantly today. The hi-def transfer just makes it all the better bringing the vibrant visual experience to life better than ever. There are some elements here that might creep out the younger audience, but necessary to tell the story they have perfectly delivered. While some prefer the original Japanese audio track, the US version sports a great voice cast including Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Michael Chiklis, David Ogden Stiers, and Susan Egan.
If you have never seen this or any of the other Studio Ghibli films from Hayao Miyazaki then this is the perfect chance for you to change the travesty in your life. If you have then you will no doubt want to add this beautiful film to your collection. In addition to the film, this Blu-ray also includes numerous special features including original Japanese storyboards, Japanese trailers, TV spots and more but that is only part of the coolness to this release all housed in an elegant hard slipcase that includes a new 40-page book with stunning art and essays. Featured in a deluxe disc portfolio will be the Blu-ray™ of the film and the film’s soundtrack made available on CD for the first time in North America.
For more information or to grab your copy head over to ghiblicollection.com
For more information on Shout Factory and its other awesome titles head over to www.shoutfactory.com