I will say that I loved it. I haven’t enjoyed watching a movie this much in years. It was visually stunning. I love the way Haako looked. The story and the part the characters played out in it was very well-crafted. I am so glad it won an Oscar, not because I care a whit about the stupid awards, but because that prompted Disney to re-release it to a broader market, and it didn’t make it to Emerald City the first time ‘round. Definitely worth watching on the big screen.
The dubbing was exquisitely well done. Translation can make or break a foreign film, and in the vast majority of dub jobs, it breaks it. Some people don’t think this applies to animated films, but it does. Crappy dubbing is crappy dubbing; I usually avoid it at all costs. One of the nice things about DVDs is that they’ve made subtitled and letter-boxed films easier to obtain, because the studio can package both on one disc.
Anyway, fortunately, “Spirited Away” was a big-budget dub job, and the voices blended seamlessly with the visuals, even capturing a lot of the Japanese style of voice acting. For example: one feature of girls in anime is, when excited and/or upset, to speak very quickly, high-pitched, and almost incoherent. The animation that goes with this is usually more stylized – the mouths of the characters get huge and the eyes go very wide and agitated. There’s not much of this in “Spirited Away”, but when it happens, the voice actress gets it exactly right. I was impressed.
I was thinking that this film premise could make a good RPG, but I won’t discuss that here, since it’d result in inadvertent spoilers. I’ll have to put a spoiler warning on it if I do that. :)