Chihiro, a girl who is moving away from her old home, and her family get sidetracked on the way to their new home. They stop in front of a strange building, which leads to a seemingly abandoned theme park. While her parents eat at what appears to be a restaurant, Chihiro goes exploring, and meets a boy named Haku who warns her to leave before sundown. Of course, she can’t, and discovers that her parents have been turned into gluttonous pigs. Strange creatures come out and populate the town, and eventually, Chihiro figures out that she is in the spirit world. Between working for the witch Yubaba, figuring out who Haku is, and avoiding certain death by some of the meaner spirits, Chihiro must find a way to get her parents back to normal and go home.
Ashitaka, a prince of a hidden mountain village, suffers a strange illness after killing a monstrous wild boar. He sets off to Iron Town to find out what caused the boar to fall into a murderous rage, and possibly to find a cure for his ailment. Ashitaka discovers that in order to sustain her town, Lady Eboshi is ordering her workers to cut down the nearby forest to power their furnaces. This is making the forest spirits angry, and both sides are gearing up for war. Meanwhile, he also meets a human girl, San, who was raised among wolves in the wild. Her unique relationship with the forest spirits is Ashitaka’s only hope of reconciling man and beast.
When the urban city-state Paro attempts to sabotage the dams of the costal city Itha, the two states go to war. Although their respective leaders, Prince Jill and Princess Ahnas, love each other, neither side wishes to surrender. Jill continues to fight out of a sense of duty to his people, while Ahnas fights to protect the citizens of Ithas. Meanwhile Izu, a farmer who dreams of becoming a hero, is recruited by Paro agents to sabotage Itha’s dams once again and flood the entire city. He takes on the assignment, hoping to make a name for himself, but is forced to leave behind his lover Marin.