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Spirited Away Spirited Away

Indie distributor GKIDS, which holds U.S. rights to the Studio Ghibli film catalog, has snagged the North American rights to filmed performances of the stage adaptation of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and will release two of the recordings in theaters in Spring 2023.


  • Spirited Away: Live On Stage is the first-ever stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning animated feature. It was adapted and directed by Tony-winner John Caird (Les Misérables) and ran for several months in 2022 at Tokyo’s historic Imperial Theater.
  • Two separate filmed performances of the show will be released by GKIDS starring either Kanna Hashimoto or Mone Kamishiraishi, who were double-cast as the lead Chihiro. Mari Natsuki, who voiced the sorceress Yubaba and her twin sister Zeniba in the original film, returned to those roles for the play.
  • The stage version’s score was composed by Joe Hisaishi. Jon Bausor designed sets and Toby Olié headed puppetry design and direction.
  • Spirited Away: Live On Stage was created in association with Studio Ghibli, and presented by Toho Co., Ltd. The North American rights deal was negotiated between GKIDS and Toho.
  • GKIDS president David Jesteadt said in a release: “We are thrilled to offer this unique opportunity for Studio Ghibli fans in America to experience the stage production that wowed Japanese press and audiences last year. This imaginative stage adaptation by the legendary John Caird, featuring two wonderful performances by lead actors Kanna Hashimoto and Mone Kamishiraishi, helps bring to life one of the greatest films of all time in a dazzling new way.”


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Jamie Lang

Jamie Lang is the Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.