Spirited Away 2001

The film was written and directed by Hayao Miyasaki, the only Japanese hand-drawn Animation Film that won an Academy, and I still believe it deserves that spot until now. The title doesn’t attract me to watch the film, it was because it was Ghibli’s reputation and its Director that has led me to it and be in love with its magical content. the plot itself is a bit complicated though given the protagonist was just a 10 yr old girl named Chihiro who doesn’t possess a special power, she was just seemingly a normal girl with normal needs, who was fucked lost in a spirit realm because of her parents’ ignorance of a fact.  

What are the conflicts of the story?

At the beginning of the story, Chihiro complains about moving out from her old town missing her friend, the unfamiliar place, and anxiety of losing or leaving what she has accustomed with and was caught in the middle of unknown, clueless, lost, and scared and when a child has to face full responsibility to take care of him/herself without the guidance of an adult but will only rely on what she/he learns as a child to survive an ordeal and that is if that child was taught to survive at that age, but if not that child needs to learn in the process, that’s what happened to our protagonist, Chihiro was presented as a whiner and typical 10 yr old girl to the audiences, then ended up losing her parents in an abandoned place that looks like a theme park and turns out to be a spirit world or the other world, it becomes clear Chihiro will need to make an adult decision now that she lost both of her parents in the middle of an unknown world not well equipped. 


Multiple themes have played a major part in developing Chihiro’s character, she has been exposed at her early age to witness a transformation of her parents from human to adult pigs from overconsumption of food they’re not supposed to eat, her innocent life was throttled, and doesn’t know what to do, then a friendship with Haku has sparked some hope that will save her parents and could bring them back to the human world.

it’s a 2 hr animation film, with pure fantasy, magic, and life lessons that teach both young and adult audiences, child’s innocence, facing fears in saving both her parents and her love for the friendship of Haku, adapting to a world she isn’t familiar with, signing her identity off turning her name into Sen in-exchange for a job in a bathhouse a responsibility she isn’t certain if she can do it, and in the process, she made new friends and developed sense of responsibility that Yubaba has sensed from the beginning she doesn’t have a reason why she refused to give her a job.

Her unexpected adventure also teaches her to be self-sufficient in making a wiser decision in achieving her goal, she wasn’t even tempted with gold when No-Face lured her with a handful of Gold in his hands in exchange for the attention he wants, all these themes were perfectly structured in a form of hand-drawn animation, and the story was told with colorful odd-looking spirits, delicious food, extreme long shots, and the music that sets a good soothing and relaxing feeling of watching Ghibli’s. 

Ghibli’s design of animation has remained untouched for many years, it was the feeling of nostalgia that captures audiences to enjoy the depth of joy, sadness and magic unfolds in its content, its unique way of storytelling Spirited Away has sense and meaning to its beautiful graphic design, in full details that your heart and mind will remain focus to the magical lesson it brings.

The limitless imagination and the immense effort that was formed into animation frame by frame was superb and outstanding, the plot was laid quickly in the story, the characters were all interesting and unique, the settings of the real world and spirit world co-exists but separated in dimension was awesome, the conflict that pushes the plot to its main goal, and most especially the laborious process that was invested to make the spirit world so different from other Miyasaki’s masterpiece has a remarkable feels that captivates all his audiences.

©Eessangj 03/19/21

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