As reported by Rocketnews24, one Japanese fan (with the Twitter handle @0910noncha) of Miyazaki classic, SPIRITED AWAY, wrote to Studio Ghibli asking some questions about the film.
[SPOILER] The fan wondered why Chihiro’s parents turned into pigs, what the strange food was before the parents’ transformations, and how Chihiro passed her final test. Studio Ghibli responded as best they could in a letter of their own.
— ＊のんたろす＊ (@0910noncha) July 9, 2016
To the first question asking why Chihiro’s parents turned into pigs, the letter addressed the symbolism of their transformation to human greed. According to director Hayao Miyazaki, Japan’s bubble economy in the 1980s led way to increased greed aka people “turning into pigs.” When the economic bubble burst, those were the people who continued to want more despite the recession. The letter explains that human greed is irreversible. Like the humans transformed to pigs in the movie, money-hungry people can’t change back.
The letter also addressed how Chihiro was able to pass her final test. The reason she knew none of the pigs at the end of the movie were her parents was because,
“Chihiro, as a 10-year-old girl, could understand the difference because she had overcome difficulties and had managed to acquire the ‘energy to live’ – which is something everyone can do naturally”.
According to the explanation, Chihiro is able to capture the energy to live by facing her fears.
To the question about what food the parents ate, the answer is more unclear. The letter states, “It’s not actually made clear what the food is–it’s just very delicious.”
And that’s it!
Hopefully, the fan is satisfied with the explanations but is probably even more excited about the actual letter.