full title · Spirited Away
director · Hayao Miyazaki
leading actor/actresses · Voiced by Daveigh Chase, Jason Marsden, and Suzanne Pleshette
supporting actor/actresses · Other voices by David Ogden Stiers, Lauren Holly, John Ratzenberger, and Susan Egan
type of work · Japanese anime
genre · Adventure/Fantasy
language · Dubbed in English. Considered an excellent translation by anime experts.
time and place produced · 2001, Japan
awards · Best Animated Feature Film, 75th Annual Academy Awards. Best Film, 2001, Japanese Academy Awards. Golden Bear (tied), 2002, Berlin International Film Festival. Many other lesser-known awards.
date of release · U.S. release date Sept. 20, 2002
producer · English version: John Lasseter
setting (time) · Late 1990s
setting (place) · A traditional Japanese bathhouse
protagonist · Chihiro, also known as Sen, a spoiled ten-year-old girl
major conflict · After Chihiro and her family accidentally wander into a spirit world and her parents turn into pigs, Chihiro struggles to stay focused on her goal of freeing her parents in the face of numerous otherworldly distractions involving greed and consumption.
rising action · Sen is tested by No-Face, who offers her gold to keep her in the bathhouse and distract her from her goal of freeing her parents and saving Haku.
climax · Sen gets on a train to go see Zeniba, who holds the key to helping Sen reclaim her identity as Chihiro, saving Haku’s life, ameliorating the loneliness of No Face, and determining the fate of Chihiro’s parents.
falling action · Chihiro and her parents find their car covered with dust. The parents think someone has been playing a joke on them. Chihiro shows she’s now resigned to her new life.
themes · The power of words and names; the blurred line between good and evil; the shock of entering adulthood and the world of work
motifs · Greed; food; environmentalism; rules
symbols · Water; flight; gold
Although this page puts it that Chihiro and Haku share a purely platonic, brother/sister love, this is not true. For one thing, it just doesn't seem like it in the movie. For another, and more importantly, when the movie is played in Chinese, the boiler man (or Zeniba, I forget who) refers to Haku as Chihiro's 男朋友 which means boyfriend. So definitely, romantic relationship there.
5 out of 7 people found this helpful
I always wondered why Kamaji told Chihiro that the train used to go two ways, yet it only goes one way now. He could have just told her that it goes one way, right?
Does the conjecture; the train symbolises going to the afterlife, and that our lack of belief has caused it to become a one way trip, make sense?
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
When Chihiro and her parents exited the amusement park and entered their car, why was it filled with leaves and branches, just as if they left the car for several months in the woods? I also noticed that the vegetation had grown substantially. Maybe I am mistaken or time runs differently in the spirit world, any thoughts?