Spirited Away Summary

The Themes and Ideas of Spirited Away


Discussing this film's theme and the idea is even more difficult than providing Philosophy essay services. Spirited Away is a Japanese Fantasy/Adventure film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The film was released in 2001 and got global recognition after its release.

The film revolves around Chihiro and her family.

They get abandoned in an amusement park, and soon they realise that they are not the only ones present. Supernatural beings inhabit the place, and soon, Chihiro learns that their parents have turned into pigs. The music producer of this film is Joe Hisaishi.

People from all over the world said that Hayao Miyazaki had created magic on screen.

Let's discuss the themes, ideas and other important aspects of Spirited Away.

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The Storyline


Much to Chihiro's dismay, she and her parents are relocating to a small rural Japanese village. Unfortunately, Chihiro's father takes a wrong turn on the way to their new house and travels down a lonely one-lane road that terminates in front of a tunnel.

Her parents decide to pull over and look around. After exiting the tunnel, they see a deserted amusement park with a tiny town on the other side.

Her parents decide to dine and make their payment later after spotting a restaurant with delicious-smelling cuisine but no workers. On the other hand, Chihiro declines to eat and opts to continue exploring the theme park.

When she encounters Haku, he warns her that Chihiro and her parents are in danger and that they need to flee right now. But unfortunately, her parents had changed into pigs as she rushed to the restaurant to find them.

The theme park also turns out to be a town where wicked gods, spirits, and demons live. These creatures go to the bathhouse in the middle of the town to unwind.

The malevolent witch Yubaba, who owns the bathhouse, wants to keep all intruders as slave labourers, including Chihiro. In order to save her parents and possibly return to their planet, Chihiro must rely on Haku.

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About The Director


Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most popular animation film directors in Japan. He is also known as 'The Japanese Walt Disney'. Miyazaki's films are known for entertaining plots and characters.

His movies are renowned for their "breathtaking" animation, engaging characters, and amusing plots. A young protagonist or children playing significant roles in the plot are among Hayao Miyazaki's trademarks. Other trademarks include flying in action sequences and references to environmental issues and human-caused pollution.

Another trademark is having the human protagonists travel to an unusual place that is off-limits to or forbidden by the outside world.

In addition, they frequently feature a male and female lead pair, with one of them possessing a peculiar past or a magical ability.

They are also frequently set in European cities with added Japanese influences and frequently feature labour or recognition scenes for working-class people with women and kids.

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The Theme


The significance of one's name was one very important issue that was a key storyline aspect in this film. Chihiro's initial servitude at the bathhouse was symbolised by Yubaba removing her name to rob her of her individuality.

However, the secret to Chihiro's escape is her ability to recall her name, and Haku warns her that if she doesn't, she will be imprisoned in the spirit realm forever.

The strength of a name is that, even though it is the only word that accurately describes a person. Chihiro had lost that when she changed into Sen; she needed to cling to that in order to keep in mind the characteristics that genuinely define her.

The characters in this movie also heavily rely on the power of words.

Haku frequently cautions Chihiro when she is initially exposed to the spirit world to use her words to secure employment rather than becoming sidetracked.

Chihiro learns to use her words properly in order to achieve what she wants from Yubaba and ultimately saves herself in the process by refusing to listen to how many times she was turned down.

She was also effective in saving others by just speaking the proper things and keeping the help Haku offered her a secret.

The blurring of the lines between good and evil in Spirited Away is another significant theme. The film's characters first seem to fall neatly into the categories of good and evil.

However, as the movie's story progresses, we witness these characters' darker sides and how they affect Chihiro's attempt to flee.

When we initially meet them, characters like Haku and No-Face seem to be good, but they are revealed to be evil.

At first glance, people like Zeniba, Kamaji, and Lin look disagreeable, but they ultimately play a significant part in assisting Chihiro in escaping.

No-Face is the character in this movie who experiences the biggest change since he transforms from being good at the beginning to evil after eating people, then back to good when Chihiro brings him to Zeniba's home to live with her.

Even characters with the most distinct personalities seem to have multiple sides, as when Yubaba, the main antagonist, displays a more endearing side while caring for her infant son Boh.

The animated film genre typically depicts a clear distinction between good and evil; hence this thematic choice is not frequently used in these movies.

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The Idea


The film is a manifestation of fear and anxieties through the eyes of the lead female character Chihiro.

The main lesson of this movie is determined by Chihiro's decision to respond to the constantly shifting circumstances around her, even the most terrible ones.

Being away from her parents is one of the most dreadful fears a child could ever have. However, Chihiro's journey towards maturity is propelled by overcoming that fear and locating her parents.

Yubaba, a powerful witch, turns her parents into pigs as retribution for disobeying Chihiro's advice not to eat food that is not intended for them.

To save them, Chihiro must enter the bathhouse and confront the truth of this new child/adult role reversal.

She is not so much put to the test as given the opportunity to work through her concerns about relocating to an unfamiliar location.

Spirited Away is a remarkably intricate movie with numerous subtextual elements. This masterpiece by Hayao Miyazaki explores the significance and power of words and names. The ambivalence of good and evil compared to our initial expectations of people, the abruptness of becoming an adult and entering the workforce, the power we all have to make our own decisions, the perils of greed and temptation, and the horrifying effects of human activity on the environment.

It is amazing that a film with a youthful target audience can incorporate many complex subjects and offer lessons that viewers of all ages can take away.

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