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Spirited Away is one of the most beloved Studio Ghibli movies. It highlights the beauty of Hayao Miyazaki’s art, brings us a compelling array of characters, and ties it all together with a touch of magic. This is why we were so excited when a stage play adaptation of the movie came to life in Japan. And even though those of us in North America won’t yet get to see the show live, we will finally get to watch the Spirited Away play. Two filmed performances of Spirited Away: Live on Stage have now been released on digital and are available to watch on-demand. Meanwhile, a Blu-ray version of the Spirited Away play will release in November.
GKIDS, a producer and distributor of animation, acquired the rights to distribute the show in North America earlier in the year. As mentioned, two filmed performances of the production have now become available for our viewing pleasure. This will let us get a full taste of the Spirited Away play. Each performance will star a different lead actress for Chihiro, who was double-cast.
— GKIDS Films (@GKIDSfilms) October 2, 2023
As of October 24, GKIDS has made the Spirited Away stage production available to watch on Digital On Demand. You can purchase the digital version of the play starring either Kanna Hashimoto or Mone Kamishiraishi as Chihiro via Apple TV or Amazon’s Prime Video. Additionally, you can pre-order Spirited Away: Live On Stage on Blu-ray. The Blu-ray version will release on November 14. It will feature both performances of the play.
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According to a release for Spirited Away: Live On Stage, “character actor Mari Natsuki, who voiced the sorceress Yubaba and her twin sister Zeniba in the original motion picture, returns to her original role.” The Spirited Away stage play was also adapted and directed by Tony Award-winner John Caird, “who gained international acclaim for adapting and directing the world premiere of the landmark production Les Misérables.”
We absolutely love seeing our favorite movies in a new way. And if the pictures and trailer from the Spirited Away stage play reveal anything, it’s that we’ll love this rendition. If you live in or plan to visit Japan, the stage play will also return to Nagoya this summer and to Tokyo in March of 2024.
We’ll keep this post updated as more details about how and when you can watch the Spirited Away play now and in the future. For now, we’ll flip on the original and let it carry us into a magical world.
Originally published on February 8, 2023.