This is something that slips past the Western viewers- it looks like it’s reaching out for Chihiro, in a malicious way, to the Western viewers. It’s what I thought growing up.
However, now, that I know that it’s a way of signalling for someone to ‘Come here!’ in Japan, the scene takes on a whole new meaning.
That spirit knows that if Chihiro doesn’t eat the food, she will disappear. And it knows if it offers the food, she cannot be cursed as a gluttonous pig because it wouldn’t have been stolen.
Just a unique take when you have all of the context.
This is why I love Studio Ghibli. You can’t take anything or anyone at face value, you have to pay attention to what they do/say.
So at my house we have an intercom in everyone’s room and when you press “talk” and speak into it everyone can hear what you say
So last night at like 1 AM I spoke into it and quietly whispered “Shia Labeouf“
I heard my mom scream in the other room