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aka SEN to CHIHIRO NO KAMIKAKUSHI
USA: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
UK: Optimum Releasing
Cast (voices of): Daveigh Chase, Jason Marsden, Suzanne Pleshette, Michael Chiklis, Susan Egan, Lauren Holly, John Ratzenberger, David Ogden Stiers, Tara Strong
Directors: Hayao Miyazaki (Japan) / Kirk Wise (USA English dubbed version)
Countries: USA / Japan
USA & UK: 125 mins
USA Rated: PG for some scary moments
UK Certificate: PG contains mild peril and scary scenes
USA Release Date: 20 September 2002 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 12 September 2003
Chihiro is a capricious, headstrong 10 year-old girl, who believes the entire universe should submit to her every whim. When her parents, Akio and Yugo, tell her they have to move house, she is furious and makes no attempt to hide her anger.
As they depart she clings to the memory of her friends as much as to a bunch of flowers, the last trace of her old life. Arriving at the end of a mysterious cul-de-sac, the family is confronted by an immense red building in which an endless tunnel gapes like a gigantic mouth. Reluctantly Chihiro follows her parents in.
The tunnel leads to a ghostly town where a sumptuous banquet is waiting. Akio and Yugo fall upon the delicious food ravenously, but are transformed into pigs as their daughter looks on. They have strayed into a world inhabited by ancient gods and magical beings, and ruled over by a demonic sorceress, the harpy-like Yubaba.
Yubaba explains to Chihiro that newcomers are turned into animals before being slaughtered and eaten. Those who escape this tragic fate are condemned to aniihilation once they have been proven worthless.
Fortunately Chihiro finds an ally in the enigmatic Haku. In order to delay the fateful day of reckoning, to survive in this strange and perilous new world, she must make herself useful, she must work. Chihiro renounces her laziness, her humanity, her reason, her memories, even her name...
The winner of the prestigious Golden Bear Award at the 52nd Berlin International Film Festival, SPIRITED AWAY is the latest film from legendary animation director Hayao Miyazaki (PRINCESS MONONOKE). The most successful film in the history of Japanese cinema, SPIRITED AWAY has been dubbed into an English language version by executive producer John Lasseter of Pixar Animation Studios (TOY STORY, TOY STORY 2, A BUG'S LIFE) and directed by Kirk Wise (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME).