Maybe I just don't "get" anime. I've been trying for years, and several movies from this often-mythological genre of Japanese animation have bowled me over: "The Ghost in the Shell," "Akira" and this year's "Metropolis," for starters. The enchanting, fantastic "Kiki's Delivery Service," by Hayao Miyazaki, the Steven Spielberg of anime, is a particular favorite of mine.
But while all my fellow film critics seem to think Miyazaki's new film, "Spirited Away," is one of his very best, the fable-istic story of a little girl trapped in a parallel world of spirits left me unaffected and completely indifferent.
The picture begins with 10-year-old Chihiro (given the voice of Daveigh Chase -- Lilo in Disney's "Lilo and Stitch" -- for the film's American release) reluctantly following her curious, irresponsibly clueless parents into a hidden, abandoned building while looking for a back road to the new house they're just about to move in to.
Continue reading: Spirited Away Review