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


Do we still have to present Studio Ghibli? Founded in 1985 by Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, it has become the most recognized specialist in Japanese animation. If the last film so far was a huge disappointment, the studio is still behind many masterpieces. Including Spirited Away. Released in 2001, it was last broadcast in Japan and Studio Ghibli had prepared a little surprise for its fans: It answered the many questions from Internet users directly on its Twitter account. The opportunity to learn more about the many details and secrets of animated film.

Spirited Away

While drawing the scenes with many characters took the longest, Chihiro also required a lot of work because Hayao Miyazaki wanted his movements to be perfectly animated. At the end of the film, the elastic band offered by Zeniba Chihiro shines in order to leave a positive impression on the audience and to prove that the young girl has actually arrived in the dream world. If producer Toshio Suzuki had said that Chihiro’s disappearance from the human world took three days, the dusty car she finds on the way home suggests that she was actually gone much longer. When she returns to her old home, Chihiro may find Haku there, the spirit of the river that flows nearby.

The faceless ones

The faceless person embodies the image we have of the diseases and obsessions that can affect us. The faceless one cannot enter the baths because he is not a god: he is in each of us and represents our darkest part. The faceless one is so named because he is one of the three facets that represent an individual, the other two are Chihiro and Yubaba. The lack of a name therefore symbolizes the fact that one cannot define someone by presenting only one aspect. The character’s reception is very different from country to country, some viewers perceive him as a strange springtime, others are particularly attached to him.

The witch Yubaba

Contrary to the original sketches, Studio Ghibli decided to make the witch Yubaba and her sister Zeniba similar. There would actually be a way to check this if we were able to step into the world of fiction: Yubaba would only have one wart on its chest, Zeniba four. The most observant will notice that Spirited Away makes a direct reference to Dragon Ball when Yubaba sends a ball of light. The idea comes from the original sketch, on which “like Dragon Ball” was written in black and white. The funny thing is that the studio can’t provide a specific explanation as to why the witch created this ball of light.

AND more details

In dealing with the idea of ​​disappearing, 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 largely inspired by Otfried Preussler’s novel Krabat, the moss-covered statue next to which Chihiro can be seen is a sekijin, a stone statue of no particular significance, but which could indicate that frogmen live there. The city of dream world is inspired by the districts of Yūrakuchō and Shinbashi in Tokyo; Places that are often crowded and filled with restaurants with lots of lanterns lighting up after dark. The funny big chicks we see in the baths of Yubaba are gods who need to relax because their life is not easy, according to Miyazaki. Even the characters that look human in the dream world probably aren’t.

And if you’re looking to learn more secrets about Studio Ghibli movies, you’ve come to the right place!