Spirited Away

A gorgeous fairy tale about a shy young girl who is stranded in the magical land of the spirits. 10-year-old Chihiro starts the film clinging desperately to her mother, afraid of statues and doorways, and disgruntled to be moving to a new town where she’ll have to confront her greatest fear: talking to strangers. On the way there, her parents take a detour that leads them to the land of the spirits. There, Chihiro must go out on her own when her parents are transformed into pigs by an evil witch. Commencing a difficult quest, she learns to overcome her fears, solve problems on her own, and speak in an indoor voice. The gorgeous imagery alone would be enough to make this anime interesting, but its classical fairy tale motifs, which apparently transcend particular cultures, are what really make it work.

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