Plot: Ten year old Chihiro Ogino is being forced to move away with her parents to a new town. She is upset because she will have to go to a new school and meet new friends. Along the way they get lost and end up in what appears to be an old amusement park. Her father insists on exploring the park, so her mother and Chihiro reluctantly follow. Her father and mother find an abandoned food stall and start scarfing down food. Chihiro wanders off and find a magnificent bath house. She meets a boy there who tells her she should leave before sundown, but when she gets back to her parents she find that they have been turned into pigs and then the park starts to fill up with monsters. Chihiro runs from them only to find more trouble.
Review: A digital masterpiece! This film is a riveting tale of a little girl and her struggles to adulthood. When Chihiro finds her parents of no help to her she runs into a world outside of her reality and into a fantasy based world where she learns how to take care of herself. All of the different spirit creatures of the bathhouse are unique and intriguing. The artistic quality of the film is outstanding, with a colorful display of wonderment. Light and dark take on their separate roles, portraying good and evil. Chihiro takes us on a fantasitcal adventure from childhood to adulthood. And you will be captivated from the very first moment she enters the amusement park. A wonderful tale for children to watch.
Interest Level: 3-6 graders
Similar Materials: The Secret of Kells, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, Alice in Wonderland
Reader’s Advisory: Hayao Miyazaki is one of my favorite directors. All of his films have deep meanings are usually touch base with Japanese folklore. Spirited Away is a great coming of age story for children to watch. It is beautiful and magical. It can also be found in graphic novel form. I give it five stars!