Spirited Away and The Secret of Kells

Spirited Away (2001) is written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli, which is my most favorite Cartoon movie. It tells the story of Chihiro Ogino (Hiiragi), a sullen ten-year-old girl who, while moving to a new neighborhood, enters the spirit world. After her parents are transformed into pigs by the witch Yubaba (Natsuki), Chihiro takes a job working in Yubaba’s bathhouse to find a way to free herself and her parents and return to the human world. 1

The plot is simple, but conveyed the spirits thoroughly. Love, braveness, kindness…all of the our spirits are simple, all of them can be presented by someone’s  state at one instance. The complex plot may bring us surprise, and strengthen the theme through some contrast. However, it’s just one method. The important thing is what we want to elaborate and the details that can be displayed on the screen.

Realistic description endowed  this animation more meanings, that’s what bring us to watch a movie more than one time. Mixing several connotations into a single scene is the advantage of realism. Everyone will gain totally different comprehension at every time from a brilliant movie or book.

The word of brave didn’t come into my mind when I watch Spirited away in the past. Maybe that’s what I own but didn’t noticed before. However, I found that Spirited away is a story about braveness  when I watch it again after my graduation. Chihiro was initially a coward who didn’t dare to step into the tunnel, didn’t dare to step over the dry river. She finally became brave to face the spirits in the bathhouse, face the witch Yubaba, face the unknown destination the railway lead to. I got this understanding mainly because my recognition that I’m a coward in the choosing of my PhD programs. What a marvel! One can only realise what he or she had lost, and can discovery it in a book or movie easily henceforth.

Spirited away also has wonderful picture, just as other animations produced by Ghibli. And the secret of kells has promoted the 2D Cartoon picture into the highest degree.


The Secret of Kells (2009) is produced by the Irish studio Cartoon Saloon and it’s based on the story of the origin of the Book of Kells. It’s true that the story is interesting, however I’d like to focus on the picture. Some of the scenes are likely made from outsource works and do not match the remarkable parts, we will only concern on the merits. There are three features I’d like to learn.

  1. Imagination.  Let’s forget the 3D geometry. The screens are always 2D, we have no need to preserve the laws in 3D world.
  2. Dynamics. The movement of the circles in the background made the film interesting.
  3. Symmetry and Anti-symmetry. Most of the large scenes have the left-right symmetry or central symmetry, Repetition of the elements is periodic symmetry. And the anti-symmetry made the micro sights vigorous.

Besides these 3 characters, there are also other inspirations. The common hue of all the colors appeared in a single picture will made it pleasing to the eye. The right size-relationship can produce balance.

The last remark. This is not just a review on two animations. It indicated the style DropCoins will adhere.

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