A Spirited Wonderland: Miyazaki’s SPIRITED AWAY

When it comes to animated features, there have been many masters. The old cartoonists of the early twentieth century put their ink to cell to create wonder. They refereed to cartoons as “wish fulfillment” because anything was possible if you could draw it. Soon ink was coupled with paint and the dream machine ran. One of the greatest masters of this art is Hayao Miyazaki, a skilled portal maker with the power to send us into worlds untold. His films are unmistakably his, beautiful and deep, yet even the smallest child can follow along with them. Among the many worlds he has shown us, one of his best loved, is Spirited Away. This is a story of a young girl trapped in the spirit world were she must use her wits to survive and find a way back. An amazing story, but certainly not a new one. In fact, more than any other Studio Ghibli film, Spirited Away takes a Western fairy tale template and applies it to the pantheon of Japanese Shintoist ghosts. But to understand this, we must visits the dream weavers from before animation.

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A Spirited Wonderland: Miyazaki’s SPIRITED AWAY