Year: 2002 (Japanese version 2001)
Cast: Voices of Daveigh Chase, Jason Marsden, Suzanne Pleshette
Painterly and surreal images are rendered masterfully by hand in this animated masterpiece from Hayao Miyazaki (who also directed Kiki's Delivery Service). The exotic landscape that greets the eyes is as vivid as any dream landscape or nightmare. A 10-year-old girl, Chihiro, gets lost and separated from her parents in an abandoned theme park. She becomes a worker in a mysterious bathhouse, full of lost souls and phantasmagorical creatures.
What Parents Like: Who hasn't toiled under a boss like Yubaba, the hard-driving and shrill-voiced owner of the bathhouse?
What Kids Like: The allegory touches upon situations children can understand, such as feeling panicky and lost in a new place or not knowing the rules of a new game. Kids as well as adults will enjoy the visual feast of fantastical beings and transformed spirits that parade across the screen, from the graceful river spirit to the grotesque Stink God.