Blu-ray Review “Spirited Away”

spiritedawayActors: Daveigh Chase, Lauren Holly, Michael Chiklis, Suzanne Pleshette, Jason Mardsen
Directors: Hayao Miyazaki
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Run Time: 125 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Spirited Away” is one of my all-time favorite films, animated or not. Studio Ghibli in fact has delivered some of my other favorites including “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Howl’s Moving Castle”. Hayao Miyazaki is a genius and this is his BEST film. “Spirited Away” won Best Animated Feature Oscar at the 75th Academy Awards, which it very much deserved. This film was also very important for Japanese anime because it was brought to the spotlight due to the Oscar win and also brought Studio Ghibli from and center in the United States. Just because, this is a “cartoon” doesn’t mean it is for kids, it is aimed for both adults and kids. I watch this film a few times a year and I cannot recommend it any higher.

Official Premise: From Hayao Miyazaki, one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of animated cinema, comes the Oscar(R)-winning triumph (2002, Best Animated Feature Film), filled with astonishing beauty and epic adventure, a dazzling masterpiece for the ages. “Spirited Away” is a wondrous fantasy about a young girl, Chihiro, trapped in a strange new world of spirits. When her parents undergo a mysterious transformation, she must call on the courage she never knew she had to free herself and return her family to the outside world. an unforgettable story, brimming with creativity, “Spirited Away” will take you on a journey beyond your imagination. It’s a fantastic tale the whole family will want to experience over and over again on Disney Blu-ray!

Disney’s US Blu-ray of “Spirited Away” is outstanding (the film was previously released in Japan only). This is literally the best Studio Ghibli US Blu-ray release to date. The 1080p transfer is perfect. The colors are gorgeous and the animation looks flawless. There are two audio options both in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The original Japanese language track and Disney’s English dub are honestly both amazing. I have watched both and they are each wonderful in their own way.

The special features are good but do not feature much new content from previous releases. The only HD feature is to watch the film consisting of the Original Japanese Storyboards presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and an Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track with optional English subs. “The Art of Spirited Away” features Jason Marsden discussing this beautiful film. “Behind the Microphone” features US voice cast discussing their roles. There is the Nippon Television Special, which focus on the studio and the film runs just over 40 minutes. Lastly there is an intro from John Lasseter and Japanese trailers and TV spots for the film.

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