Totally Unauthorized Commentary: Spirited Away (2001)

Adam, Simone, and Norm watch one of their favorite animated films: Spirited Away. You’ve seen Adam cosplay as one of its iconic characters, but this movie is jam packed with amazing character and visual design. Let’s watch it together!

Comments (24)

24 thoughts on “Totally Unauthorized Commentary: Spirited Away (2001)

  1. The title says “Sprited away” which I had some hard time finding on IMDB ;). Look forward to watching this masterpiece with you guys!

  2. What a coincidence. Just watched this movie a few days ago.

    Every time I see this movie I get absolutely famished and ravenously hungry during the parents food scene in the beginning. The food looks sooooooo good. I always get hungry. There is very very good, authentic Japanese restaurant within walking distance I go to sometimes after watching this movie… sadly the food is never as good as I imagine it from the film.

  3. ooof, you haven’t seen it yet? man, i envy you that first time.

    it’s crazy how good this film is, and it isn’t even my favourite miyazaki. porco rosso is my number one, followed by princess mononoke. good commentary, y’all. it was good watching this one with you.

    one thing that strikes me about miyazaki’s films especially is how well he does that very japanese flavour of melancholy. things happen, and then they are over. you don’t get the payoff that people start in a bad place and then they are in a good place forever. he is so good with the inherent wistfulness of times passing, and never coming back. even the best of them.

  4. I expected you to mention the hair tie at roughly 2:03:00. It glinted just as Chihiro turns away as if to prove the whole thing was real. What a nuanced movie this is. I look forward to more “Totally Unauthorized Commentaries.”

  5. I had never seen this movie before, but after having just watched it I am blown away. What a beautiful masterpiece. Looking forward to more commentaries in the future!

  6. I’ve been hearing about how great it is and neglecting to watch it for a decade or more, no particular reason either. 🙂

  7. I suppose you can’t do a picture in picture for legal reasons. It was impossible to stay in sync with the Alien commentary because the version I watched was slightly different. I had to use the partial reflection in the space helmet to re-sync periodically. Couldn’t you put a reflective ball in the foreground or something to help with that?

  8. This is one of my favorite Miyazaki films and I got to see it in the theater when it first released here in 2002. I think my first experience with Miyazaki, though, was Laputa. A friend of mine had the laser disc version and showed it to me around 2000ish. Since then, I’ve become a pretty big fan of all the Ghibli films and I got to go to the museum when I was in Japan in 2010. The above picture is me on the roof of the museum where they have a full sized replica of a Laputa robot.

  9. This was first Studio Ghibli film I saw. I was 14 and we had some culture event with school. Can’t remember if we watched it in Japanese or dubbed to Finnish. My love for Studio Ghibli films started from that and Joe Hisaishi is definetly one of my favorite movie composers (main composer for Ghibli films). However, while this ranks top 3 Ghibli films for me, Princess Mononoke is #1. With everything, music characters, story with all the love and grimness.

  10. I wish there was an audio only downloadable version of this. I’ll have to find some time when I’m elsewhere with reliable, stream-friendly internet so I can watch without holding the pause button at the ready.

    This was my first ever animated Japanese film and I imagine my eyes slowly got wider and wider as the movie went on. I never imagined as a kid that movies could be like this. And now I devour Miyazaki and Kurosawa and bad Japanese pulp movies like it’s going out of style.

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