Spirited Away wowed a lot of people when it was released in 2001. For proof, look no further than the fact that it brought in more than $289 million at the box office, which was rather remarkable considering that it had been made on a production budget of something along the lines of $15 to $19 million. Furthermore, Spirited Away didn’t just bring home the Golden Bear from the Berlin Film Festival but also the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, which is particularly remarkable because that makes it the one foreign movie made using hand-drawn animation to have won that latter honor. Summed up, Spirited Away made such a huge impact that it is still considered one of the best movies to have ever been made, which makes it no wonder that there are a lot of people out there who have been wondering about the potential for a follow-up.
Will There Ever Be a Sequel to Spirited Away?
In 2016, there were some people claiming that Spirited Away was going to get its long-awaited follow-up at last. However, the sources of such claims tended to be YouTubers of no particular significance rather than respected publications, meaning that there isn’t much reason to believe in those claims.
For that matter, it should be noted that Studio Ghibli isn’t exactly famous for making follow-ups to their fan favorites. In fact, they are famous for not making needless sequels, which is something that might have hurt their potential profits but nonetheless provided them with a fair measure of credibility from a fair-sized segment of the movie-going population. Since the story of Spirited Away was completed in said movie, there is no great need for Studio Ghibli to make another movie for the purpose of tying up loose narrative ends, even if there are a lot of people out there who really want to know whether Chihiro and Haku ever managed to live up to their promise to meet up once more in the future.
Summed up, the evidence suggests that there will be no Spirited Away sequel for the foreseeable future. Studio Ghibli isn’t fond of making follow-ups to their movies, which is why the closest things to that is a spin-off of Whisper of the Heart as well as a 14-minute long follow-up to My Neighbor Totoro called Mei and the Kittenbus, which is screened at the Ghibli Museum and almost never anywhere else. Combined with the lack of even credible rumors about a Spirited Away sequel, it seems clear that there is no real reason to believe in the existence of such a movie.
With that said, it is interesting to note that some interesting information about Spirited Away did come out in 2016. In short, what happened was that a fan wrote to Studio Ghibli about some of the most popular questions regarding Spirited Away, which resulted in a rather lengthy answer. Those who are interested should check out the contents on their own, but some examples of its answers ranged from the reasoning behind some creative choices to the answer of why Chihiro was able to tell that her parents weren’t included with the pigs. As a result, the letter is well-worth reading for Spirited Away fans, particularly if those questions have been nagging at them for all these years.