"I hate to gush in the first sentence of a review, but I absolutely love this film. Now that itís out of the way, you can expect similar sentiments to follow. Spirited Away plays out like the greatest childrenís novel never written. I feel hesitant about that thought, because the film is so imaginative, so inspired, I have a hard time believing it was not adapted from any sort of source material. No, I learn it is primarily the creation of Hayao Miyazaki, the man behind some of the most popular Japanese cinema and two animated masterworks, Princess Mononoke and now this. Indeed, Spirited Away is the highest grossing domestic film in Japan, and now it comes to the States in a newly dubbed version from Disney. Just like some of its famous literary counterparts, the film is quite episodic, each chapter giving us some new marvel to contemplate and savor. Miyazaki gives us and his heroine a wonderfully wicked, entirely twisted, and occasionally demented world to explore, much like Lewis Carrollís Alice wandering around Wonderland. Similarly, the story is set in a specific time and place (modern-day Japan, specifically), but even so, it remains timeless and universal. And that, my friends, is a sign of something extraordinary."

Mark's Full Review