Double Feature: SPIRITED AWAY 2001, 125 min. Dir. Hayao Miyazaki. Wandering through an abandoned carnival site, 10-year-old Chichiro is separated from her parents and stumbles into a dreamlike spirit world where she is put to work in a bathhouse for the gods, where all kinds of nonhuman beings come to refresh, relax and recharge. Here she encounters a vast menagerie of impossibly inventive characters and must find the inner strength to outsmart her captors and return to her family. In Japanese with English subtitles.
POM POKO, 1994, 119 min. Dir. Isao Takahata. The forests are filled with magical tanuki, mischievous raccoon-like animals from Japanese folklore that are capable of shape-shifting from their standard form to practically any object. The tanuki spend their days playing idly in the hillsides and squabbling over food - until the construction of a huge new Tokyo suburb clears the nearby forest and threatens their way of life. In Japanese with English subtitles.