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Spirited Away

Influences on the Film

Spirited Away has been aptly compared to both Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. Like both Alice and Dorothy, Chihiro gets lost in a fantastical world where she meets odd characters, who alternately help and hinder her adventure. Food constantly changes Alice’s body, just as it changes bodies in Spirited Away: It turns Chihiro’s parents into pigs and it saves Chihiro’s life. Words and word games confuse and enlighten Alice, and words play a big role in Chihiro’s adventure as well. Thematically, Spirited Away most resembles The Wizard of Oz. While Alice goes looking for adventure to escape the boredom of a lazy day with her sister, Chihiro and Dorothy are thrust unwillingly into their strange new worlds and want only to go home. Unlike Alice, who encounters other characters only briefly, Chihiro forms deep friendships in her new world, just as Dorothy does in Oz with the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion. At the end of Spirited Away, Chihiro finds that what she needs to get home has been inside her all along. She summons her inner strength just as Dorothy does when she clicks the heels of her ruby slippers.