News + Notes

Pop Culture Crib sheet

Here's what you need to know about this year's Oscar-winning Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away (on VHS and DVD April 15 and back in theaters now). -- Gregory Kirschling

1. At $220 million, the 130-minute anime topped Titanic as the highest-grossing film in Japanese history.

2. It follows 10-year-old Chihiro (above), who's stuck in a carnivalesque spirit world after her parents are turned into hogs.

3. The villain, Yubaba, is a nasty old wench with an identical twin sister (just like Phoebe on Friends!) and a supersize mole between her eyes.

4. Critics compared the gorgeously animated film to Alice in Wonderland, but it's also got some of Little Orphan Annie, The NeverEnding Story, and, um, Eyes Wide Shut in it.

5. Defying the digital revolution, director Hayao Miyazaki's (ha-yah-oh mee-yah-zah-kee) animation is still mostly hand-drawn.

Originally posted Apr 11, 2003 Published in issue #704 Apr 11, 2003 Order article reprints
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