Spirited Away Turns 15

July 20th marks the anniversary of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away film release date!

© Disney and Studio Ghibli via Metacritic

© Disney and Studio Ghibli via Metacritic

It was 15 years ago, and yes you read that right (now don’t you feel old?), that Spirited Away made its big screen debut in Japan. The film went on to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2003. In addition, it also made history by becoming the highest grossing film in Japanese history.

The film follows a 10-year-old girl named Chihiro. She navigates through the spirit world in order to save her parents. By working at a bathhouse, she seeks help from different spirits and a boy named Haku. Chihiro searches for a way to save her parents and return back to the human world before it’s too late.

© Disney and Studio Ghibli

© Disney and Studio Ghibli

After spending the summer in his cabin along with a family friend and his friend’s daughter, Miyazaki realized there weren’t many films that portrayed 10-year-old girls as the protagonist. He stated in an interview that, “I felt this country only offered such things as crushes and romance to 10-year-old girls, though, and looking at my young friends, I felt this was not what they held dear in their hearts, not what they wanted.” Miyazaki kept in mind his friend’s daughter when it came to creating the heroine, Chihiro, for his film Spirited Away.

 

© Disney and Studio Ghibli

© Disney and Studio Ghibli

This film is often regarded as one of the best animated films.

It even holds a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. Even with Hayao Miyazaki supposedly retired for good, we will always hold dear his films that helped inspire and dazzle us! But hey– don’t just take my word for it, go check it out for yourself if you haven’t already!

Now, to leave you off with one of my many favorite quotes from master animator and storyteller Hayao Miyazaki: “I’ve become skeptical of the unwritten rule that just because a boy and girl appear in the same feature, a romance must ensue. Rather, I want to portray a slightly different relationship, one where the two mutually inspire each other to live-if I’m about to, then perhaps I’ll be closer to portraying a true expression of love.”

© Disney and Studio Ghibli

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