Spirited Away begins showing Chihiro, and her parents relocating, Chihiro is visibly upset and refuses to think of the journey as an adventure, showing her unwillingness. After getting lost on a side street, they arrive at an artificial building with an ominous tunnel on its front. The building conflicts with the purity of nature as portrayed in this film.
Her ambitious father sets the family on their path into the spirit world, through the tunnel. The tunnel leads to an abandoned amusement park, this sense of isolation is symbolic of maturity, we know that as we get older theme parks seem less fun and the emptiness of the place is a reminder of fleeting childhoods. Chihiro initially did not want to go down this tunnel as she stated “It’s creepy, Daddy. Let’s go back”. We see her as timid and one who submits to authority rather than making her own choices. We also see her unwillingness to accept an adventure into her life.
Chihiro has a large respect for rules, when her parents eat at a restaurant, she refuses. This is the first part of her metamorphosis; she doesn't obey her parents for the first time and decides to make her own choice in life.
Finding her parents have transformed into pigs, the human world transcends into the spirit world. The amusement park is presented by the dark colours; a world of spirits. This portrays the lack of harmony and peace which also enhances fear in Chihiro.
She is aided in her journey by Haku, a fellow child who seems to have the sense of coping in this world. Yet he too is on a journey of his own