What made me decide to make [Spirited Away] was the realization that there are no films made for that age group of ten-year old girls. It was through observing the daughter of a friend that I realized there were no films out there for her, no films that directly spoke to her. Certainly, girls like her see films that contain characters their age, but they can’t identify with them, because they are imaginary characters that don’t resemble them at all. With Spirited Away I wanted to say to them ‘don’t worry, it will be all right in the end, there will be something for you’, not just in cinema, but also in everyday life.
Vincent Van Gogh used to eat yellow paint because he thought it would get the happiness inside him. Many people thought he was mad and stupid for doing so because the paint was toxic, never mind that it was obvious that eating paint couldn’t possible have any direct correlation to one’s happiness, but I never saw that. If you were so unhappy that even the maddest ideas could possible work, like painting the walls of your internal organs yellow, than you are going to do it. It’s really no different than falling in love or taking drugs. There is a greater risk of getting your heart broken or overdosing, but people still do it everyday because there was always that chance it could make things better. Everyone has their yellow paint.