Animation Addicts Podcast

Episode #16 – This Ain’t Your Typical Western Story

Hosted by Morgan Stradling, Chelsea Robson & Mason Smith

July 23, 2012

The Rotoscopers jump into the world of Japanese animation by reviewing their first ever anime: Studio Ghibli’s fantasy-adventure film Spirited Away.

Mason also introduces a new super duper anime trivia game and tries to stump Morgan and Chelsea. So join the Rotoscopers for all the news and laughs in the (Japanese) animated world!


■ The Rotoscopers: The Band!
■ News: Epic trailer is epic, DreamWorks theme park, Penguins of Madagascar movie, Kung Fu Panda 3; get more news at our websiteand
■ Mason discusses anime music and theme songs
■ New Game! ‘Super Awesome Fun Time Anime Synopsis Game Deluxe Bean Burrito Game!’ Mason reads a description of an anime and Morgan and Chelsea have to guess if it’s a real show or made up
■ Main discussion: Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away
■ Animes are like awkward conversations: you just can’t jump into them
■ Spirited Away is awesome because it stands out visually from other traditional animes
■ Characteristics of animes that deter Western viewers
■ Thoughts on grotesque character design: Yubabba’s big head, Chihiro’s dull design
■ Chihiro: her transformation throughout the film, “what’s up with that guy?”
■ Shifts away from traditional Western story telling: lowest point at the beginning
■ Story: static characters help move the forward; characters don’t grow up, but discover inner strength inside of them; Chihiro can’t go back, just forward
■ Standout scenes: the beginning is very typical of a scary movie, abandoned amusement parks
■ Mason’s theory alert: Chihiro & her parents died on the car ride & are entering the afterlife
■ Unanswered question: were the parents under a spell when they were eating the food?
■ What’s with the roasted newt?
■ Similarities with Alice in Wonderland and Pinocchio; Crow Yubabba is similar to Maleficent’s crow Diabolo
■ Chihiro’s defining moment, slow character evolvution
■ Susan Egan as Lin; Jason Mardsen as Haku aka a ‘voice acting hero’
■ Voice actor tangent: are some voices too recognizable and distracting?
■ No Face: unresolved character, Mason discusses fan theories about who No Face is
■ Morgan’s had a No Face in her life
■ Yubabba: great enjoyable character, stays nasty till the end, motivated by only money and her baby
■ Conundrum: how did Chihiro know that none of the pigs were her parents?
■ Themes: generosity vs. greed, love vs. infatuation
■ Rich with symbolism, lots of moments for reflection
■ Last lines of the film (added for English dub): “I think I can handle it.”
■ What both our listeners and The Rotoscopers rate it! ★★★★★
■ A big ol’ mail in the mail bag!
■ Plug to listen to past episodes!