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The MoFo Top 100 of the 2000s Countdown

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I feel like I'm always alone in liking The Darjeeling Limited.

You're not, and I'm a little surprised this one didn't make it.

My number 1 prediction was wrong. Spirited Away was my #4. I knew this would make top ten just as much as anyone else here knew, but to be fair, I was surprised at the magnificent reception the film got when I first found out. I saw it years ago in school and was in love with it since, but I had no idea everybody gave it the Godfather treatment.

Sent-In Ballot:

#2. Oldboy (22)
#3. Sin City (47)
#4. Spirited Away (5)
#5. Requiem for a Dream (26)
#6. Memento (11)
#7. Yi Yi (49)
#8. The Departed (19)
#9. The Dark Knight (10)
#10. Casino Royale (37)
#11. Eternal Sunshine (6)
#13. Million Dollar Baby (57)
#15. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (53)
#16. Let the Right One In (29)
#19. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (8)
#20. Iron Man (83)
#21. Inglourious Basterds (18)
#22. Pirates of the Caribbean (63)
#25. Hot Fuzz (30)


#2. Oldboy (22)
#3. Sin City (47)
#4. Spirited Away (5)
#5. Requiem for a Dream (26)
#6. Memento (11)
#7. Yi Yi (49)
#8. The Departed (19)
#9. The Dark Knight (10)
#10. Casino Royale (37)
#11. Eternal Sunshine (6)
#12. Snatch (71)
#14. Million Dollar Baby (57)
#16. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (53)
#17. Let the Right One In (29)
#18. Slumdog Millionaire (not placed but it made my new 25)
#19. Monsters, Inc. (74)
#21. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (8)
#22. Iron Man (83)
#23. Fantastic Mr. Fox (70)
#24. Inglourious Basterds (18)
#25. Pirates of the Caribbean (63)

Seen 58/96

I’ve only seen a handful of Miyazakis and they all kinda blend together so it’s hard to remember which ones. I know I’ve seen the one where the witch girl delivers mail and the one with the Totoro, and one about a castle and a guy on a pogo stick? Maybe I haven’t seen Spiritied Away. The witch girl delivering mail was my favorite.

I did like Spirited Away more than I had expected to, but anime has just never spoken to me, even with all my friends falling into the recent rise of it. I did watch a few episodes of Death Note with my girlfriend , and that one was solid. Wish I liked it all more, would be a brand new media for me to get into
Yeah, there's no body mutilation in it

I count twenty-six: The Fountain, Talk to Her, Wonder Boys, A History of Violence, Ghost World, Solaris, Crash, Signs, Gran Torino, Gone Baby Gone, Road to Perdition, Hero, Man on Fire, Gangs of New York, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring, Brick, King Kong, Traffic, Once, Lars and the Real Girl, Good Night and Good Luck, The Darjeeling Limited, American Splendor, Brotherhood of the Wolf, Black Dynamite, and The Bourne Identity.

Not much of value lost here

Society ennobler, last seen in Medici's Florence
For those curious enough, Spirited Away got the following:

1st Place: 5 ballots
2nd Place: 4 ballots
3rd Place: 1 ballot
4th Place: 3 ballots
5th Place: 2 ballots

6th Place or less: 13 ballots
Definitely, my ballot is not one of these.
I saw Spirited Away about two years ago and found it not as much impressive as the fashion rulers claim.
"Population don't imitate art, population imitate bad television." W.A.
"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." M.T.

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Spirited Away is toppish Miyazaki, a bizarre but surprisingly relatable fantasy that's massively popular. I had it at #18, so it must have hypnotized me too into forgetting a few other movies.

My List

1. The Incredibles
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
3. King Kong
5. Ratatouille
7. Downfall
8. Up
9. The Dark Knight
10. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
11. Everything Will Be OK
12. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
13. Talk to Her
14. Tell No One
15. WALL∑E
16. Children of Men
17. Pan's Labyrinth
18. Spirited Away
19. The Pianist
20. A.I. Artificial Intelligence
21. Pride & Prejudice
22. Hotel Rwanda
25. City of Life and Death
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page

Spirited Away is the first anime film I truly was blown away by. I'm not a big animation fan though I do like Pixars and studio Ghibli.

This is the last movie on the countdown that I've seen and loved, so it's the last time I'll post my reviews. I believe I had some interesting things to say about Spirited Away so hopefully somebody will take the time to read this:

Spirited Away(Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)

Spirited Away is so richly detailed with wonderfully interesting spirit characters. The story both written and directed by Miyazaki excels in 'world building' much like Ridley Scott did in Blade Runner. We're treated to a uniquely different world with its on set of rules and traditions. And we're showing many aspects of that world, from deep in the ground where coal is stoked into the fires by little dust creatures to the upper world of the bath house with it's own characters and ways of doing things.

The bath house was immense like some castle labyrinth, I want to go there! Each room had it's own interesting design. Every time we enter a new room there's something fascinating to see. In some ways this reminded me of the Alice in Wonderland, stories with a new adventure at every turn!

I loved that the animators understood the relationship between lighting and color gradients. Much care was given to making the film look real and three dimensional. I was impressed that cinematography camera angles were used. We get low angle and overhand shots, fly by shots and more. Just like a well made live action film, Spirited Away has amazing cinematography, lighting and sets.

Never been huge on anime. But it shouldnít hold back a great film. I love all genres but somehow anime doesnít always hit. Some do though but Iíve never loved Spirited Away as much as everybody else. Iíve seen it more than once and I truly admire it, but I donít love it.

No vote for me.


Now to the awards received by Spirited Away...

  • Academy Award for Best Animated Feature
  • Saturn Award for Best Animated Film
  • AARP Movies for Grownups Award for Best Movie for Grownups Who Refuse to Grow Up
  • Awards Circuit Community Award for Best Animated Feature Film
  • Blue Ribbon Award for Best Film
  • Award for the Japanese Academy for Best Film and Best Song (Yumi Kimura)
  • Cambridge Film Festival Audience Award for Best Film
  • Hong Kong Film Award for Best Film
  • Jeonju Film Festival Audience Award
  • National Board of Review Award for Best Animated Feature
  • Golden Satellite Award for Best Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media

Among many, many others.

Check out my podcast: The Movie Loot!


Spirited Away

Did you know that...
  • writer and director Hayao Miyazaki didn't work from a script? According to interviews, he never has the story "finished and ready" when production starts, and the story develops from his storyboards with him not knowing where the plot will go. "It's not me who makes the film. The film makes itself and I have no choice but to follow".
  • the film was the first anime to be nominated for an Academy Award (and obviously, win it)? It was also the longest film nominated in that category, with a runtime of 125 minutes.
  • John Lasseter, who oversaw the English dubbing, was a fan and friend of Miyazaki?

You mean me? Kei's cousin?
I guess a glance at my favorite movies list makes it obvious this was my #1. It cracked the top five, too. I wasn't expecting it to make it that high until a couple of days ago.
Look, Dr. Lesh, we don't care about the disturbances, the pounding and the flashing, the screaming, the music. We just want you to find our little girl.

Here's a nice interview with Hayao Miyazaki, about Spirited Away...

Spirited Away made my list at #13.

3. Yi Yi (2000)
4. Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)
5. City of God (2002)
6. Cachť (2005)
7. In the Mood for Love (2000)
8. WALL∑E (2008)
9. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)
11. Children of Men (2006)
13. Spirited Away (2001)
17. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
22. The Aviator (2004)
25. Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001)
"Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Haven't seen Spirited Away...or much in the way of Ghibli. I think I've seen only The Wind Rises from there.

Anime is a weak spot for me, but I'm definitely receptive based on my favorable opinion on Ghost in the Shell which I've seen in the last 2 years or so.

Some nice articles and essays on Spirited Away...

On Hayao Miyazaki's 'Spirited Away' and the Anxieties of Growing Up

"What drives Spirited Away is not just the fantastical nature of the narrative but wanting Chihiro to triumph despite her circumstances. Her resilience is the true driving force behind the film that has withstood the test of time. People go back to this film because it takes them back to their childhoods, where the anxieties of being unloved, abandoned, judged, and criticized were always present. Chihiro is not that different from the child everyone once was."

Chihiro's Journey: Analyzing "Spirited Away"

"Chihiro has been characterized as whiny, but I think if you understand her situation and contrast her intuitiveness with her parents' obliviousness, she seems less so."