Thursday, 5 July 2012

Set Up and Plot Point: Spirited Away

Spirited Away is a Japanese animated film, directed by Hiyao Miyazaki, and produced by Studio Ghibli.

The Set-up

  • Chihiro is a young girl, and her family is moving away to a new town in the counrtyside.
  • She's not very enthusiastic about the move, and childishly clings to the going away presents her friends gave her
  • Her parents are much more enthusiastic and are very easy going, stopping by the side of the road to investigate the mysterious train station/theme park entrance.
  • The film is set in Japan, but the local myths and legends are heavily referenced, even in the real world Chihiro lives in.
  • There is also a spirit world, where she later gets trapped.
Plot points

  • Chihiro's parents explore the theme park after taking a "shortcut" and Chihiro is made to follow. 
  • Her parents find food and greedily begin consuming all of it, while Chihiro, venturing further, meets a boy who tells her to leave. She goes back to find her parents, but they have been turned into pigs.
  • Chihiro is helped by a young boy, who takes her to a bath house in secret so he can help her. However they are soon discovered.
  • Chihiro gets away and is told to go to the boiler man. The boiler man won't help her until she does some work, and after she has helped him, he directs her to the witch, Yubaba, who owns the bath house.
  • Chihiro goes to the witch, and the witch takes her name and allows Chihiro to work until she gets a chnace to take her parents back.
  • Chihiro begins to forget her name after working in the bathhouse, but the boy helps her to remember by taking her to visit her parents.
  • While working, she invites in a strange masked creature into the bathhouse one evening. There is also a spirit who comes to the bath house, and after Chihiro helps it, it gives her a magic dumpling.
  • Chihiro also sees the boy, who has changed ionto a dragon, being attacked, She realises he has stolen a cursed item from Yubaba's sister, and is now ill. She goes to the boiler man to see how she can help the boy, and he gives her tickets to get a train to Yubaba's sister's home. Before she leaves, she feeds him part of the dumpling.
  • The masked creature causes a big unrest in the bath house and begins eating the other workers, demanding to see Chihiro, Chihiro calms it down with the rest of the dumpling, and then leaves. The masked creature follows her.
  • Chihiro finds Yubaba's sister, who helps her out, but cannot give her a proper cure, as it turns out Chihiro already broke the curse herself.
  • She returns to see the boy has healed, but she still has to pick out her parents from a group of pigs so that they can all be let go.
  • Chihiro does this right, and leaves, saying goodbye to the boy and all the spirits and workers in the bathhouse.

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