One of the best and most successful films Studio Ghibli has ever produced – “Spirited Away” – had to wait 18 years to be released in China. A sign that the relationship between Japan and China is getting more relaxed, the movie has officially landed a Chinese theatrical release for the first time since opening in 2001.
Miyazaki’s critically acclaimed “Spirited Away” is a terrific work that seamlessly mixes twenty years of great technical innovation, charming characters and weird plot developments. It won numerous international awards, including the Golden Bear for best film at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival and the Oscar for best animated feature at the 2003 Oscars.
Moreover, for many years has been the highest grossing Japanese film of all time, only surpassed in 2017 by “Your Name’ but it will probably reclaim its position after the Chinese release. In fact the film is expected to perform really well at the Chinese box office later this year, following the other successful Chinese (late) release of “My Neighbor Totoro” in December 2018.
Despite the absence of the films, Studio Ghibli’s works are extremely popular in China where they have a dedicated fun base thanks to pirated DVDs, downloads and online discussions.
The beautiful Chinese poster was created by artist Zao Dao on the occasion of the release.
An energetic ten year-old girl, Chihiro (voice of Rumi Hiiragi), arrives at a weird tunnel with her family. Past that, they find a deserted place. Where has everybody gone?
While her parents don’t waste any time and start to stuff themselves, Chihiro decides to explore the town. Returning to check on her parents, she finds out they’ve turned into pigs! Moreover, she’s been cut off from her former world and stranded in this bizarre new one…
Joe Hisaishi’s beloved score keeps a nice balance between the epic feeling and more relaxed fare, and carries you along for the ride in a remarkable way.