home | news | about us | trips | upcoming events | reviews | gallery | film

US Premier of Spirited Away at the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles   (September 10, 2002; Commentary by Val)

  Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! We saw HAYAO MIYAZAKI at the US premier of his latest movie Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (aka Spirited Away.)

Miyazaki-sensei was accompanied by the Producer of the film, Toshio Suzuki.

Devin and I watched the movie for the second time that night (it was the first time seeing the dubbed version.) I feel I can safely say that the Disney corporation is finally showing Miyazaki's work the respect that is deserves. (Though, unfortunately, this may be Miyazaki-sensei's last film.)

I had almost no qualms with any of the voice actors (well, not the actors for the main characters, anyway) and was able to enjoy the storyline with only a minimum amount of script changes (which were added due to either the fact that the Japanese language is more subtle than ours, or the translators felt that a little more explaining was due in order for a scene to make sense to American audiences.)

The interview was conducted by Charles Solomon. And I thought he did an excellent job!

However, in what appears to be typical of gatherings like these, the fan Q&A session was a joke. I was embarrassed by the majority of the questions people were asking our most honored guest.

Hayao Miyazaki is one of the greatest storytellers of all time! Who did these people think they were talking to?? It was just as bad as the Q&A session with Ang Lee at ComicCon! ("Ang, I read on the internet that there's going to be a hulk dog in the movie..." Bah! Why don't you try MISTER Lee?? Show him a little freaking respect, you loser! And why are you asking questions about something some idiot posted on the internet? Blargh!)

There were only two people who's questions, I felt, showed the proper respect to Miyazaki-sensei and Suzuki-san. (Well, maybe three...that last guy was too nervous to spit out his question, I felt so sorry for him!)

One jerk was even so brash as to ask for Miyazaki-sensei's autograph! (The little wanker called himself "cheeky", but he was just downright rude.)

Anyway, I wish that Charles Solomon's interview had gone on a little longer...his questions were far more insightful than anything that came out of the audience. For more information on Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away), please see our section on movie reviews.

Here are s few of the pictures we took during the interview:

Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki

Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki

Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki

For more information on the incredible Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, please visit

frequently asked questions contact us