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Spirited Away is a story of a ten-year-old girl who enters the spirit world, and tries to find a way back to the realm of humans. The major themes center on the protagonist, as well as her journey, which may be compared to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The archetypal entrance into another dimensional demarcates the character’s status as someone between child and adult, and standing outside societal boundaries in a supernatural setting. Besides the coming of age motif, Spirited Away contains critical commentary on modern Japanese society concerning environmental pollution, generational conflicts, and the struggle with dissolving traditional culture. Released in 2001, the film made ¥30.4 billion to become the highest-grossing movie in the history of Japan. Also, it’s the first to earn $200 million worldwide before opening in the United States. Spirited Away is a dazzling, enchanting, and gorgeously-drawn fairy tale that will leave viewers fascinated by the world that we live in.

Chihiro and Haku, by Amira Tanany.

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