Spirited Away (2001 IMDb)

Categorization

Modern-day fantasy with heavy mythological influences. Lots of metamorphosis.

Subject

A ten-year-old strays into the land of Japan's gods, where humans are unwanted guests or worse.

Commentary

Like Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) and Porco Rosso (1992), this falls into the trap of too-frivolous fantastics, eroding basic believability. Kaonashi as a counterfeiter recalls the man from Echigo in The Life of Oharu (1952). I had to watch it two whole times before I understood that Kaonashi sounds weird because it talks with the voice of what it eats (which is just me being dumb). Partially based on a book.

References here: Ghibli movie titles, The Cat Returns (2002), Thank You, Mr. Lasseter (2003), Howl's Moving Castle (2004), Tales from Earthsea (2006).

Ghibli Japanese production Miyazaki Hayao Suzuki Toshio animation movie