16 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know About Studio Ghibli’s Masterpiece

Do we still need to introduce Studio Ghibli? Founded in 1985 by Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, he has become the most recognized specialist in Japanese animation. If his last film to date was a big disappointment, the studio is still at the origin of many masterpieces. Among these, Spirited away. Released in 2001, the latter was recently rebroadcast in Japan and Studio Ghibli had prepared a little surprise for its fans: it answered the many questions asked by Internet users directly on its Twitter account. The opportunity to learn more about the many details and secrets behind the animated film.

Spirited Away

  • If the scenes with many characters took the longest to draw, Chihiro also required a lot of work because Hayao Miyazaki wanted his movements to be perfectly animated.
  • At the end of the film, the rubber band offered to Chihiro by Zeniba shines in order to leave a positive impression on the viewer and to prove that the girl has indeed traveled to the dream world.
  • If producer Toshio Suzuki had said that Chihiro’s disappearance from the human world had lasted three days, the dusty car she finds on her way home suggests thatshe was actually gone much longer.
  • If she returns to her old home, Chihiro might find Haku there, who is the spirit of the river that flows alongside.

The Faceless

  • The Faceless allows personify the image we have of illnesses and obsessions who can affect us.
  • The Faceless cannot enter the baths because he is not a god: it is in each of us and represents our darkest part.
  • The Faceless is so called because it is one of three facets representing an individual, the other two being Chihiro and Yubaba. Not having a name therefore symbolizes the fact thatone cannot define someone by presenting only one aspect.
  • Reception of the character has been very different from country to country, some spectators perceiving it as a comic spring, while others are particularly attached to it.

The witch Yubaba

  • Contrary to what had been done with the original sketches, studio Ghibli decided to make the witch Yubaba and her sister Zeniba similar. There would actually be a way to verify this, if it were possible for us to enter the universe of fiction: Yubaba would only have one wart on his chest, while Zeniba would have four.
  • The most attentive will have noticed that Spirited away you dot a direct reference to Dragon Ball, when Yubaba sends a ball of light. The idea comes from the original sketch, on which was written black on white “like Dragon Ball”. The funny thing is that the studio can’t provide any concrete explanation on why the witch creates this ball of light.

AND other details

  • By focusing on the idea of ​​disappearance, the English title of the film, Spirited Away, is closer to the meaning of the original title, which literally means “Sen and the Mysterious Disappearance of Chihiro”.
  • Spirited away is greatly inspired by the novel krabat, d’Otfried Preussler.
  • The moss-covered statue Chihiro is next to is a sekijin, a stone statue with no particular meaning but which could indicate that frogmen live nearby.
  • The city of the dream world is inspired by the Yūrakuchō and Shinbashi districts of Tokyo; places that are often crowded and full of restaurants, where many lanterns light up after dark.
  • The funny big chicks that we see at the Yubaba baths are gods who need to relax because their life is not easy according to Miyazaki.
  • Even human-looking characters in the dream world they probably aren’t.

And if you want to discover more secrets about Studio Ghibli films, it’s here!

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