Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film Spirted Away is an extremely unique film that focuses on a deeper understanding of life through the eyes of a young girl trapped in a ghost world. The audience gets to see a scared little girl named Chihiro who originally clings to her mother’s side in fear, transform into someone so brave she is willing to face sorceresses and take on the supernatural world in a fight for what she loves. The animation allows the filmmaker’s room for ghostlike occurrences throughout the movie without need of special effects or stunts. This is why I believe the film is so likeable. The cartoon aspect of it also appeals to the target audience of young boys and girls and allows them to experience the spirit town in the same way that Chihiro did through imagination.
There were many themes throughout the film but the one that stuck out the most was that love binds people together through connections too deep to be understood completely. It also illustrates that although children are deemed inexperienced and naïve, they sometimes need to remind adults what life is about. Chihiro, although afraid, never gives up on saving her parents or Haku throughout the movie. She accidently invites a “no-face” spirit into the bathhouse, refuses his gold because she doesn’t need it and unintentionally causes trouble, but owns up to it as soon as she realizes what she’s done. She also sticks up for this spirit after he had caused so much destruction because she sees through his mistakes. There is a parallelism between Yubabba and Chihiro that teaches a valuable lesson as well. Yubabba steals from her sister and does not recognize when her baby is turned into a rat because she does not understand what real love is. Chihiro on the other hand, reaches out to help everyone she encounters, especially Haku and her parents. In the end she wins because her bond between her and Haku and her bond between her and her parents overcome the greed and wicked ways of Yubabba.