Let me start by saying that this movie is a groundbreaking original and a must see for anyone from the elderly to children over the age of cartoons don't make me cry anymore.' This wondrous and wonderful animated feature, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, makes even the most recent American cartooning - Disney included - seem ordinary and unexciting. But it's not just the amazing technical artistry the decorated scenery, the sense of depth, dimension and detail that this great Japanese animator and his team have created it's the story.
The concept of the film is based on the archetypical story of Alice In Wonderland. The constant adventures and misadventures of a curious little girl who winds up in a world unknown, ruled by a mad sorceress, full of both friendly and frightening creatures that constantly challenge the hero's head and heart. It's a lawless world where absurdity isn't out of the ordinary, and it's an enveloping journey.
This time our Alice is named Chihiro, an awkwardly slender ten-year-old girl whose parents are moving to a small isolated town. Along the ride, dad takes a shortcut and finds himself oddly drawn to a building he spots in the distance. He wants to further investigate this supposed abandoned theme park against the reasonable little girl's wishes. And so, without support from her incoherent mother, they do just that. Chihiro, overwhelmed with discomfort tags along while her parents follow the scent of food cooking. They run into a ghost town and find that the smell is coming from the only working food stand, which is awaiting them with a ready-to-eat buffet laid out like bait. So the parents indulge in various peculiar looking meats while Chihiro wanders off for a moment, only to return to see that her parents have pigged-out so long they've turned into pigs, literally.
As scary as that would be, she's trying to figure out what is going to save her parents from whatever fate lies ahead of them....