Review by: Graeme Kay | Rating:
AN ABSOLUTELY magical manga-adventure from the master of genre,
Hayao Miyazaki, whose last film was the highly acclaimed Princess
Chihiro and her parents are moving house, but 10-year-old Chihiro
is not happy about it.
After all, she is losing all her old friends and who knows what
the kids in the new neighbourhood will be like.
Consequently, on the way to her new home, Chihiro throws a hissy
fit in the back seat of the car.
Possibly distracted by his daughter's histrionics, papa san takes
a wrong turn and the trio end up in front of a mysterious mansion.
Chihiro is afraid. She doesn't like the place, it gives her the
spooks; so when her parents decide to explore the long tunnel
that leads into the interior of the building, she refuses to go
However, the prospect of being left alone is even more daunting
and she quickly changes her mind, following mum and dad into the
Eventually, the trio arrive in a strange town, apparently deserted
despite the presence of hot food in all its restaurants.
Feeling more hungry than afraid, Chihiro's mother and father,
but not their daughter, greedily partake of the food on offer
and are immediately turned into pigs.
Left alone in this strange, ghostly new world, inhabited by gods
and characters from Japanese mythology, the terrified Chihiro
realises she must grow up fast if she is to save her parents from
being turned into bacon.
Subsequently, with the help of one of the inhabitants, the enigmatic
Haku, she takes a job in a bathhouse owned by the sinister Madame
What follows, as Chihiro undertakes her quest, is a fabulously
illustrated, cleverly scripted work that covers all bases, from
the humorous to the hallucenagenic, taking in scary, philosophical,
thrilling, tender and satirical along the way.
An Alice in Wonderland for the 21st Century, which will appeal
to adults and older children.
Brilliant, brilliant, and what's more