Erika W. Smith
July 16, 2016 1:20 pm
Studio Ghibli

Spirited Away was released almost 15 years ago, but some facts about the anime classic have remained a secret — until now.

A Japanese fan of the Hayao Miyazaki-directed fantasy film wrote a letter to Studio Ghibli asking some questions that “Spirited Away” fans have always wondered about. An anonymous employee decided to answer the letter — much to many fans’ surprise.

In Spirited Away, the main character Chihiro and her parents take a wrong turn on their way to their new home and enter a magical world. Chihiro’s parents are turned into pigs after they eat at a restaurant. Then, Chihiro becomes trapped in the spirit world.

According to Mashable, @0910noncha asked why Chihiro’s parents turned into pigs and what was in the food they ate. She also asked how Chihiro realized that her parents were missing from a group of pigs at the end of the film.

In a translation by RocketNews24, Studio Ghibli revealed that Chihiro’s parents’ transformation represents greed caused by Japan’s recession in the ‘80s. The letter also said that Chihiro was able to realize that none of the pigs were her parents because of how she’d grown during her time in the spirit world. The food that turned Chihiro’s parents into pigs wasn’t named, but Studio Ghibli revealed that it was “very delicious.” (We hope so!)

The letter also said that the film isn’t about Chihiro’s “unique heart.” Instead, it’s about how she learns to face her fears and appreciate the meaning of life — something anyone can do!

Spirited Away will celebrate its 15th anniversary on July 20th, and if you haven’t watched it yet, now is the time. If you need convincing, the movie won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, among many other awards. If you’re already a fan, we know the perfect way to celebrate the anniversary — with a rewatch!

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