From my childhood, I enjoyed many fairy tails, I still enjoy them to this day. There is a unique charm to these stories that make them so good to lisention. These stories bring out our inner child, they are calm, they are simple are most importantly they tug your heartstrings. These stories do not only appeal to children but also every adult out there. People might like these stories due to nostalgia or any other cause, one thing is simple the audience for these stories is huge.
As such what is the better way to make a niche medium of entertainment like anime accessible to the world rather than implementing this kind of stories? Nearly, every Ghibli follows and includes at least some part of fairy tail and children stories in their movies, because of this Ghibli had gained many fans outside of anime community and gain recognition as one of the best Anime studios to ever exist and Spirited Away had a huge part in it.
Pacing in Spirited Away is the strongest point in the film. The movie flows like clam water jeweled with moonlight slowly moving towards its destination, in between you may be passed by a ship or two but it is fine. Spirited Away never breaks its rule of mystical calmness. Pacing of the whole movie follows three stages, first is fast but simple and calm plot dump(not in a bad way), second has a slow and steady pacing giving you warm feeling and binds you in with this fantasy world and its characters and third is again slow but calm climax allowing developed characters shine. It is the best pace system design you can have theoretically. You build a dam, filled with water and then bam, all of those emotions falls upon viewers. Though it is commonly used in many western movies, it is still executed very well. It never felt rushed, slow and calming pacing just absorbs you in this world which many western movies fail to do so.
The animation is very well done(It is a movie of course). most of the time art style matter that fluidity of animation. Spirited Away doesn’t have Anime touch in its art style, it has more Disney kind of feel which always have been in every Ghibli film. This probably makes movie more kid and western friendly but also loses the charm it could have gotten with Anime style. Well, let’s are honest here it is a children’s movie.
Spirited Away is not unique by any standards, characters, music, and other elements are mediocre at best and subpar at worst. I will say that “I have seen better than that”.
Spirited Away is a movie that follows every fundamental of movie making line by line. As such Spirited Away is made to win awards, simply due to sheer discipline in direction, artistic preference, characters, and plot. Everything in this movie tries to be as perfect as possible. While Spirited away doesn’t do anything horrible, but it doesn’t do anything perfect either. These awards love their mediocracy because you can’t criticize it but you can inflate its good qualities. Even I can’t criticize Spirited Away because most of it is mediocre and some of it is masterfully beautiful. As someone once said.-
“People don’t want something magnificent or great to happen they will be happy with something normal and mediocre because most of the time mediocre is fine.”