Spirited Away, titled Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi in Japan, follows a young girl named Chihiro on an adventurous, yet threatening journey into a magical realm after her parents are turned into pigs. She forms relationships with people that will help her find her way back home such as Haku, Zeniba, and Mr. Kamaji. She also encounters those like Yubaba who try to make her time in the realm of spirits difficult. Spirited Away quickly became Japan’s highest grossing film of all time. It received many great reviews in every aspect of filmmaking. It won several awards, including A Golden Bear in 2002 at the Berlin International Film Festival, and an Academy Award in 2003 for Best Animated Film. Hayao Miyazaki, the film’s writer and director, strongly encourages Japanese culture and its survival. He believes that “surrounded by high technology and its flimsy devices, children are more and more losing their roots”(Reider). Hayao Miyazaki’s aim is to present not only an animated motion picture, but a work of art. He does so by using certain animation and film techniques, applying Japanese culture, and creating in depth characters, all of which highlight key symbols in the film.
Miyazaki’s strong support for Japanese culture often becomes prominent in the film. Once chihiro has learned that her parents are pigs, she believes that she is dreaming. “Go away. Go away. Disappear…” she tells herself, only to find that she is literally disappearing. This is because she has not yet eaten food from the realm she is in. Here she meets Haku, a young apprentice of the bathhouse. He feeds her food, and she begins to reappear. This scene reflects old Japanese mythological stories that hold the belief that eating food from another realm will keep you ...
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...” Miyazaki certainly does so. All of the work put into the film without a doubt exalts the it to be a true work of art.
Cooper, Damon. "Finding the spirit within: a critical analysis of film techniques in spirited Away." Babel 45.1 (2010): 30+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
Knox, Julian. "Hoffmann, Goethe, and Miyazaki's Spirited Away." Wordsworth Circle
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"Miyazaki on Spirited Away // Interviews // Nausicaa.net." Miyazaki on Spirited Away //
Interviews // Nausicaa.net. Trans. Ryoko Toyama. Ed. Team Ghiblink. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
Reider, Noriko T. "Spirited Away: film of the fantastic and evolving Japanese folk symbols." Film Criticism 29.3 (2005): 4+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
Spirited Away. Dir. Hayao Miyazaki. Studio Ghibli, 2001. DVD