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5 Conversations to Have with Your Kids After "Spirited Away"

Families can talk about everything from how much scary stuff kids can handle to what makes Chihiro a great role model.

Topics: Life Skills

Spirited Away is a magical, creepy film that's perfect for Halloween time -- or any time, if you enjoy stories about monsters, witches, and spirits. With gorgeous but frightening visuals, this anime classic from director Hayao Miyazaki might be too scary for younger kids, but tweens and up can enjoy an enchanting story with a great female role model. Selfless 10-year-old Chihiro shows off her courage and perseverance when she enters the spirit world to save her parents, who get turned into pigs by a witch. Her exciting adventure will give families lots to talk about. 

Throughout the United States in 2017, Studio Ghibli is releasing several of its most popular kids' movies on the big screen. Type in your city or ZIP code here to find out whether Spirited Away is showing at a theater near you. Then, after the movie, try some of these discussion questions with your kids:

  • What parts of Spirited Away did you find frightening and/or creepy? Why? How much scary stuff can young kids handle?

  • Is Chihiro a role model? How does she demonstrate perseverance and courage? Why are these important character strengths?

  • What points does the movie make about greed? What happens to characters when they're greedy? What about when they show humility and gratitude?

  • What other movies have you seen with girl main characters? Is there anything different about Chihiro compared to other movie girls? Does this movie challenge or reinforce any stereotypes?

  • Why do you think this movie is considered an anime classic? How is it different from the majority of Hollywood animated movies?

Frannie Ucciferri
Frannie Ucciferri is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she earned a degree in cognitive science and taught a class on "Arrested Development and Society." Her passion for reading and writing is paralleled only by her love of Bay Area sports, especially baseball. When she isn't playing with her dogs or trying out great new restaurants, you can probably find her watching Pixar movies, Parks and Rec, or one of her favorite girl power movies and TV shows.