Miyazaki Mondays

Spirited Away

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

2003, Japan, 124 minutes, Digital, PG; Common Sense Media Rating: Ages 9+

Japanese, dubbed in English

Cast: Rumi Hiiragi, Takashi Naitô, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Miyu Irino

Distributor: GKids

Master animation director Hayao Miyazaki follows up on his record-breaking 1997 opus Princess Mononoke with this surreal Alice in Wonderland-like tale. Ten-year-old Chihiro (Rumi Hiiragi) and her parents (Takashi Naitô, Yasuko Sawaguchi) stumble upon a seemingly abandoned amusement park. After her mother and father are turned into giant pigs, Chihiro meets the mysterious Haku (Miyu Irino), who explains that the park is a resort for supernatural beings who need a break from their time spent in the earthly realm, and that she must work there to free herself and her parents.

“It’s an amazing work, filled with a visual intelligence that’s meticulously composed and obscenely clever.” – Michael Agger, New Yorker