This week we're getting Ghibli with it, as we sit down for The Unenthusiastic Critic's first viewing of Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away (2001).
First, we're having a preliminary conversation about some of our favorite female child protagonists, discussing how it changes a story to feature a girl and not a boy, and unpacking the exact meaning of the loaded word "plucky."
Then, we're watching Nakea's first Studio Ghibli film, Miyazaki's Oscar-winning classic from 2001. Join us for a beautiful hand-drawn journey full of witches, dragons, ghosts, giant babies, soot sprites, stink gods, and many other creations from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki, the artist Pixar's John Lasseter calls "the most original filmmaker ever to work in our medium."
Finally, this week, Michael and Nakea take a moment to reflect on the untimely passing of actor Chadwick Boseman.
0:00: Prologue: from Spirited Away.
00:44: Preliminary Conversation: Young Female Protagonists
15:31: Interlude: John Lasseter on Hayao Miyazaki
16:44: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion
22:37: Original (English Language) Trailer for Spirited Away
24:56: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Trailer
1:06:25: Chadwick Boseman Tribute
1:11:56: Outro and Next Week's Movie
Notes and Links
—Movie Reviewed: Spirited Away (dir. Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli/Disney, 2001)
—Chadwick Boseman in Captain America: Civil War (dir. Anthony and Joe Russo, Marvel Studios, 2016)
—Links and Sources: "John Lasseter honors Hayao Miyazaki at the 2014 Governors Awards," YouTube; Chadwick Boseman's "Young, Gifted, and Black" speech from the 2019 SAG Awards, YouTube; "A Magical Dot over in the Corner," Roger Ebert, rogerebert.com; "Hayao Miyazaki Interview," Roger Ebert, rogerebert.com; "Hayao Miyazaki and the Art of Being a Woman," Gabrielle Bellot, The Atlantic; "Animator Hayao Miyazaki worries about children's future," Taro Fujimoto, Japan Today; "Miyazaki’s 1st fully CG film is story of tiny caterpillar," Mari Yamaguchi, AP.
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—"Warm Duck Shuffle" by Arne Huseby is licensed under CC BY 3.0.