Friday, January 28, 2011

Animals in Spirited Away

I thought that the many different types of animals in Spirited Away were puzzling. There were some animals that appeared to have real significance to some message of the film and others that may have just been put in the film for no specific reason. An example of a seemingly meaningful animal representation in the film would be that of the pigs. Chihiro’s parents are clearly turned into pigs because their gluttonous actions reflect those of pigs. There are also those animals that appear to be present merely to add to the fantastical appearance of the film, much like Haku when he is in the form of a dragon. I am not so sure why some other animals were present in the film and what it is they were supposed to represent. One puzzling animal presence is that of frogs, which most of the men in the film appear to have been turned into at the bathhouse. What these frogs could represent remains a mystery to me. I suppose it’s possible that the director inserted the frogs in the film merely because he wanted there to be more animals and he liked frogs. A final question I have about the film is why would there be certain characters that retained a human appearance in addition to those with the appearance of animals?

1 comment:

  1. I felt like the animals served a purpose in distinguishing between childhood and adulthood. Yubaba’s bathhouse consisted of mythical, fantastical characters along with a few human-like characters. The frogs, dust mites, and Haku’s ability to turn into a dragon signifies a child’s ability to dream and think, even though they had to complete tedious, daily tasks. Yubaba’s being an old woman can signify an adult being stuck in their old ways. She’s very materialistic and only cares about making money. The spirits I feel serve as a connection with the two worlds (adult and childhood) and potentially a passageway between them. The crows/birds resemble the conniving and savage side of Yubaba.