A couple weeks ago, for family movie night, I rented, on various recommendations, Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. It turns out that this film is packed to the rafters with weirdness and wonderment. I’ll be honest: some of the imagery and some of the action was unsettling enough at first that my wife and I both wondered if I’d gotten us in over our heads. But I find that two weeks later I’m still caught up in the adventures of Chihiro and Haku and pals.
My advice to other parents: if your kids are almost seven and almost three and have not been raised on an anime diet, they may be frightened on first viewing (my son didn’t respond well to the Stink Spirit sequence; my daughter was disturbed and agitated by the boy-in-dragon-form-is-mortally-injured scenes; your mileage may vary). In fact, I worried at times about the possibility of nightmares and/or permanent trauma. But they slept like an almost-seven and almost-three year-old, and in the morning, they both wanted to watch it again.