Fun With Soot!

August 30, 2010

I admit it, I seem to like the most weirdest things! In Miyazaki’s animated films, “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro”, there are Sootballs! Sootballs are very cute dust-spirits, who love to eat star-shaped candies (as seen in the photo above), and they tend to haunt old houses. Each Sootball has it’s own personality and feelings, which adds to the child-like wonder to Miyazaki’s films.

I love these little guys (or girls?) because they are way too cute and add some excitement to the stories. The Sootballs don’t own any speaking parts in the films (if they can speak, that is…) and they have no annoying chanting songs (like elves or dwarfs…), but their presence alone and silent expressions are very entertaining. :-)

What are they, exactly? Well, Sootballs are spirits or sprites, who inhabits a house and haunts it. Much like ghosts, but more friendlier. Sootballs inhabit dark places and immediately flee in the presence of light. But once they’ve decided that the people living in the house are good people, they will leave to haunt the next house.

It’s just one of those weird things in anime, that mysterious lore which always have me asking, “Why?”. Why do the Sootballs only inhabited the houses of bad people, when they are clearly nice creatures? And how do they feel, after making friends with a family and having to leave them? Do the Sootballs have such feelings or sentiment, to start with? And what is their overall purpose in their hauntings?

I know, it’s a children’s movie and I shouldn’t think too hard on it. But, I still do. :-p




  1. bummer they would be fun having them around here…but alas we are not evil people

    • Speak for yourself! Muhahahahaha! *looks for Sootballs*… Darn, it didn’t work. :-/

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