Spirited Away

Spirited Away

classified PG S

Encounters in Retrospective


Please note: This was screened in Sept 2019

Hayao Miyazaki, Kirk Wise
Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki
125 mins, Subtitled, 2001, Japanese
Primary language:

Hayao Miyazaki visited Encounters briefly back in 2005, and in 2003 Encounters screened his short Imaginary Flying Machines featuring Miyazaki in the form of a humanoid pig as he narrates the story of flight and the many imagined machines needed to achieve it - a nod to his earlier classic Porco Rosso (1992) and a precursor to The Wind Rises (2013), which cemented the director’s reputation (if it wasn’t already) as an icon of animation and wondrous, lyrical storytelling.

Miyazaki’s Oscar®-winning masterpiece Spirited Away was the biggest box office hit of all time in Japan and a film that helped redefine the possibilities of animation for audiences and a generation of new filmmakers.

Wandering through an abandoned carnival site, ten-year-old Chichiro is separated from her parents and stumbles into a dream-like spirit world where she is put to work in a bathhouse for the gods - a place where all kinds of non-human beings come to refresh, relax and recharge. Here she encounters a vast menagerie of impossibly inventive characters (shape-shifting phantoms and spirits, some friendly, some less so) and must find the inner strength to outsmart her captors and return to her family.