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If my favorite animated film of all time loses to the most overrated Wes Anderson film...I'm going to be very sad.
Spirited Away is strange and beautiful, but I don't think it ranks with Miyazaki's best. The Royal Tenenbaums is probably the best film yet from one of the most consistent and original filmmakers working today. I hate to lose Miyazaki, and anime in general, from this tournament, but Tenenbaums is the better movie.
Miyazaki's masterpiece goes against Anderson's worst film IMO. The Royal Tenenbaums is vastly overrated (lazy criticism that may be) for a so-so script and Anderson's trademark quirkiness. Miyazaki embraces quirkiness in Spirited Away, but not in Anderson's slight shallow way. A childhood favorite of mine, I recently revisited Spirited Away and was blown away by how deep and impactful the story was. Coupled with gorgeous animation, the subtle yet deep story-telling should allow Spirited Away to win here.
I'm scared that Spirited Away is the underdog of this fight. Not only is it up against an American director beloved by filmspotting listeners, it's up against a live-action film. When naming my favourite directors, Wes Anderson would often be near the top. Until one day it occurred to me that Miyazaki could compete with my favourite live-action auteurs any day of the week and beat almost all of them handily.
Spirited Away is such an awesome movie from the mind and hands of such a great master, I struggle to find the right hyperbole. Its charm is bone-deep and effortless and its visuals are stunning. Its legacy far surpasses that of any Wes Anderson flick, and deservedly so.
So it is either Miyazaki's classic or Wes Anderson's popular feature. Nay, I say nay! I cannot bear with the thought of my beloved Spirited Away disappearing from the world. If Tennenbaums wins, I will hide my copy of the animated delight and hold underground viewings of the classic. No Face masks will be seen at sporting events and in malls, ripped away by authoritarian film buffs. Spirited Away protests will be held in every major city, beginning in Portland, OR (because they always begin in Portland) demanding that the film be seen in theatres again. Most importantly, theatre owners will demand the film be seen so they can make money on the proceeds. I defy you-- DEFY YOU!-- to burn my copy, to take this film away from future generations! You can vote against us, BUT WE WILL NEVER BOW TO THE ANDERSON OPPRESSORS!
Have a good day. :)
I am a huge Wes Anderson fan - give me Grand Budapest, Rushmore, or (yes Josh I'm with you on this one, sorry Adam) Fantastic Mr. Fox any time - but this was actually an easy vote for me. While I appreciated Royal Tenenbaums and could do for a rewatch, Spirited Away is a wonder. Miyazaki brings such rich and nuanced visuals to a moving, archetypal story of growth. And even beyond what I can understand on repeated viewings there is an extra magic, strangeness, and mystery to it. Spirited Away is indeed a masterwork and gets my vote.
Royal Tennenbaums, is a really (perhaps even REALLY) good movie, but that’s just it. Spirited Away is one of cinema’s masterpieces in that it is the pinnacle of its genre, it appeals to all ages and it has a transcending message to convey. How many other movies, in the history of movies, can we say that about?
One of Wes Anderson's many delightful movies versus arguably the greatest animated movie of all time? I'll go with the latter.
Tenenbaums is almost perfect, most films this would be more of a struggle, but Spirited Away is the most glorious flowering of the master Miyazaki’s limitless, untouchable imagination and must march on!
I love Wes Anderson for all the same reasons most cinephiles do, I assume.......every shot is just perfect and overflowing with curated details. But his movies are the epitome of "style over substance". I think you need to own at least 3 sailboats and a hot air balloon to have any deep emotional connection to (most) of his movies. And Royal Tennenbaums is probably his least relatable, in that way. For that reason I'd find it really hard to consider it the perfect representation of the decade. WHOSE decade does this movie represent? Whose experience? It's depicting some second-gilded-age 1%er malaise that I know is funny
Spirited Away, like Miyazaki's entire body of work, speaks to something different. Much more common. More human. Deeply and immutably human. Not to get overly political here but the 2000's were clearly a decade defined by the failure of systems, the shattering of myths, the exposing of insecurities. Spirited Away is a film dripping with the right kind of malaise for this era. (Spoiler: No-Face is global capitalism. Don't think I'm breaking any new ground here by saying that).
One of these films has much MORE to say than most people think, while the other has quite a bit less. My vote goes to Spirited Away, a movie that truly could go toe-to-toe with There Will Be Blood as a perfect coda to the 2000's.
All of my four favorite films of all time were in this bracket - Kill Bill, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Spirited Away, and Hot Fuzz - and with only one left that means I'm ride or die for Spirited Away. And honestly the film deserves it. It is one of the most captivating locations depicted in film, one of the few to make me cry on multiple viewings, and could probably place in a Filmspotting top 5 bittersweet endings list. Just a beautiful experience start to end.
But if Spirited Away doesn't progress, then my Filmspotting Madness ending will just be bitter.
I can't believe I just picked Spirited Away. I have loved Tenenbaums my entire life from all I can recall but Grand Budapest stole my top Anderson spot five years ago now. However, I have never enjoyed anime except when I watch this masterpiece. And although I love Lilo & Stitch and Ice Age to death, it completely deserved the Oscar that year and deserves my vote as well.
Tenenaums hands down. Spirited Away is fine but Tenebaums is my favorite movie made since 2000 and has my favorite performance as well from Gene Hackman as Royal Tenebaum.
I love Wes Anderson, and in many ways, The Royal Tenenbaums is the quintessential Anderson film. So why don’t I enjoy it more? It has some great moments and some great characters (I would venture to say Royal Tenenbaum is a top five Anderson character) but the pacing gets tedious and I find it less than the sum of its parts. I was enraptured when I first saw Spirited Away In 2003 and was absorbed upon revisiting it last year.
Thinking about these movies in tandem, I was intrigued by their similarities insofar as they're both films made by directors with a lavish eye for mis en scene and nuanced ensemble characters. I decided on Spirited Away because Miyazaki-san provides a rare fantasy arc centered around a child that's not around the development of magical prowess, but on a child recognizing the need to develop emotional discipline to better practice a more mature form of compassion that helps others in their development as well. That's a story that's hard to pull off, and Miyazaki does it so well. Plus, I cry every time Sen realizes her friend is the river though I also cry every time Royal and Chaz hug at the end. I cry a lot.
I love Wes Anderson, but his big run at the Final Four will come next year when Moonrise Kingdom, Grand Budapest, and possibly Isle of Dogs contend in the Best of 2010s tournament.
But Spirited Away is the pinnacle of not just Miyazaki's career but anime as a whole. It is a wild, powerful masterpiece. I am withholding my longest, most passionate argument until the next round, because if Spirited Away wins -- and I think it will -- it will need all the help it can get against No Country for Old Men, which it should beat but will be a massive underdog against.
I’m just here to ask for a World Cinema Filmspotting Madness. Four sections of the bracket (Asia, Latin America, Europe, Africa), insaane Rest of World play-in matches, and no incredible films losing to more widely viewed but inferior films. Not saying that Tenenbaums is inferior to Spirited Away....because I haven’t seen Spirited Away. Gonna sit this one out and keep stressing out about Children of Men vs Zodiac.
I don't like you. I would rather pick between my two kids. I am voting for Tenenbaums, but only because I feel like Miyazaki will get enough love already.
Again. To reiterate. Adam. Sam. Josh (you're guilty by association). I don't like you.
(whispers) This one is easy. I didn't like TRT when it was my first Wes Anderson film, and I like it less now that I do love plenty of his films. Ghibli all the way. Soot-sprites for ever!
Spirited Away impressed me when I saw it, long long after it was released, but not enough for me to dive into the rest of Miyazaki's works. That's no fault of Miyazaki or a dig on his film, it's just what happened, and it's probably something I should rectify. The Royal Tenenbaums was my introduction to Wes Anderson and it landed in my brain right when I was learning how to appreciate how rare it is to achieve a meaningful balance of style and substance and then it exploded. The shrapnel from Royal's death is still lodged in there somewhere. I'm struggling to justify this one on a critical level, but on a personal one I want to be on the back of that garbage truck with everyone else, so Tenenbaums gets my vote.
I love me some Miyazaki, but Spirited away is a film from him I actually felt a tiny little dissapointment from. Maybe it was too celebrated. I vote Tenenbaums.
Damn you, damn you all to hell.
"Actually I think he's crying...."
Two of the best films from two of the best working filmmakers (that's right, Miyazaki is still working, see the recent documentary NEVER-ENDING MAN for proof that only death can stop that man). I'd say it's a toss-up, but I'm currently sitting in my Studio Ghibli themed room complete with a Totoro sleeping bag and I'd feel guilty every time I looked at it if I didn't vote SPIRITED AWAY.
I do love me some Miyazaki, so I voted Spirited Away. Perhaps both movies are masterpieces, but I would like to see an animated movie get as far in the bracket as possible, Anderson be damned.
I voted Tenenbaums. Why? I don't know. Nothing makes any sense any more. Damn you all.
I love Tenenbaums but Miyazaki’s Spirited Away could well be the best animated film of all time. See you in the next decade Wes ????
Anderson is all bubblegum and camping trips, and those are great, but Miyazaki is dense forests and existential wonder. The latter wins my heart.
In this battle of whimsy, I have to give it to Miyazaki (sorry Josh!). No one is better at bringing fully-realized worlds of wonder and magic to the screen than Ghibli's master craftsman.