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AI Reveals What Spirited Away Could Look Like In Real Life & It's Stunning

When it comes to the best anime movies of all time, Hayao Miyazai's "Spirited Away" will forever remain a centerpiece of the medium. With complex themes and breathtaking animation from artisans of the craft, "Spirited Away" isn't just a great anime; one could conceivably call it one of the best movies ever made. AI could never hope to create art on this level, but TikToker @adhd_ai has utilized the technology to envision what the film might look like with live-action set pieces.


実写版千と千尋が存在したら...?? The real Sprited Away. ・ ・ ・ ・ ・ #ai #aiart #midjourney #spritedaway

♬ オリジナル楽曲 – な ぎ . – な ぎ .

The 11-second video takes some of the most recognizable characters and settings from "Spirited Away" and transports them to another realm. The imagery is impressive to a degree, considering it's AI, kicking things off by showing Chihiro Ogino (Rumi Hiiragi) face-to-face with the Spirit of the Kohaku River (Miyu Irino). Plenty of the fantastical elements get time to shine, including a shot of No-Face (Akio Nakamura). It may be unclear who or what No-Face is in "Spirited Away," but the image captures the entity's sense of loneliness.

It's a stunning showcase of what AI can accomplish. But while it's one thing to create 11 seconds of material using technology, it just makes us want to go back and rewatch "Spirited Away" yet again. 

Spirited Away's director despises AI art

Studio Ghibli's art style and the company's various projects have inspired an array of AI-generated artwork. These films are beloved the world over, so it makes sense people would want to put a new spin on them. However, don't expect Hayao Miyazaki to incorporate generative AI into anything he does. Miyazaki hates AI animation, and after being shown examples of it, the filmmaker stated, "If you really want to make creepy stuff, you can go ahead and do it. I would never wish to incorporate this technology into my work at all. I strongly feel that this is an insult to life itself."

Those are harsh words, but they make sense. Miyazaki's films are deeply personal, speaking to conditions of the human experience. Generative AI strips art of its humanity, ultimately presenting a hollow shell of what could've been. But while a genuine AI Studio Ghibli film isn't in the cards, it doesn't mean "Spirited Away" has remained in the medium of animation. A live-action stage production of "Spirited Away" premiered in Japan in 2022, and you don't have to wait for it to come to a stage near you to see it. "Spirited Away: Live on Stage" is currently available to watch on Max.

"Spirited Away" has captured the hearts and minds of millions in a way few films can manage. It's a story that almost doesn't need further adaptations, as the movie is practically perfect just the way it is.