Master animation director Hayao Miyazaki follows up on his record-breaking 1997 opus Princess Mononoke with this surreal Alice in Wonderland-like tale about a lost little girl. The film opens with ten-year-old Chihiro riding along during a family outing as her father races through remote country roads.
In March 2003, writer-director-animator Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away became the first Japanese anime film to ever win (let alone to be nominated for) an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Rightfully so: The unique distillation of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and Japanese folklore offers a sense of magic that has been sorely lacking in much recent animation. A ten-year-old girl named Chihiro, while passing through a strange abandoned village on her way to her new home, finds her greedy parents transformed into pigs after being tempted by delicious food. In order for them to become human again, Chihiro must work in a surreal bathhouse for monsters, spirits, and other supernatural critters, under the supervision of a witch named Yubaba.