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Spirited Away (2001)

Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (original title)
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During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

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Top Rated Movies #29 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 53 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rumi Hiiragi ...
Chihiro Ogino / Sen (voice)
Miyu Irino ...
Haku (voice)
Mari Natsuki ...
Yubaba / Zeniba (voice)
Takashi Naitô ...
Akio Ogino (voice)
Yasuko Sawaguchi ...
Yûko Ogino (voice)
Tatsuya Gashûin ...
Aogaeru (voice)
Ryûnosuke Kamiki ...
(voice)
Yumi Tamai ...
Rin (voice)
Yô Ôizumi ...
Bandai-gaeru (voice)
Koba Hayashi ...
Kawa no Kami (voice)
Tsunehiko Kamijô ...
Chichiyaku (voice)
Takehiko Ono ...
Aniyaku (voice)
Bunta Sugawara ...
Kamajî (voice)
Shigeru Wakita ...
(voice)
Shirô Saitô ...
(voice)
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Storyline

Chihiro and her parents are moving to a small Japanese town in the countryside. much to Chihiro's dismay. On the way to their new home, Chihiro's father makes a wrong turn and drives down a lonely one-lane road which dead-ends in front of a tunnel. Her parents decide to stop the car and explore the area. They go through the tunnel and find an abandoned amusement park on the other side, with its own little town. When her parents see a restaurant with great-smelling food but no staff, they decide to eat and pay later. However, Chihiro refuses to eat and decides to explore the theme park a bit more. She meets a boy named Haku who tells her that Chihiro and her parents are in danger, and they must leave immediately She runs to the restaurant and finds that her parents have turned into pigs. In addition, the theme park turns out to be a town inhabited by demons, spirits, and evil gods. At the center of the town is a bathhouse where these creatures go to relax. The owner of the bathhouse is... Written by Zachary Harper

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

(The tunnel led Chihiro to a mysterious town...)


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some scary moments | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Miyazaki's Spirited Away  »

Box Office

Budget:

JPY 1,900,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,052,197 (France) (19 April 2002)

Gross:

£542,530 (UK) (26 September 2003)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

| | (English-language version)| (English-language version)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When Kamajii bangs the wheel to alert the Mushi-balls, a chopstick clearly falls down from the bowls. However, when he is cleaning off the dust only a minute later, there are two chopsticks again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Chihiro: [reading a card] I'll miss you, Chihiro. Your best friend, Rumi.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits have a series of still images from the film. The last image before the film fades is Chihiro's shoe in the river. See more »

Connections

Referenced in AniMat's Reviews: The Secret World of Arrietty (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Kaeru Hi
("The Return")
Composed by Joe Hisaishi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Dub or sub?
18 October 2004 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Last year I saw Spirited Away on it's UK release. I've never been a particular fan of anime, and it didn't really occur to me that I was watching a foreign language film dubbed into English (or 'American'). I can't imagine seeing a live action foreign language film dubbed into another language, but hey, this is a kids cartoon, what does it matter? Up to a point it didn't, because I loved the film. I enjoyed it so much I set about digging up the Studio Ghibli/Miyazaki back catalogue, in the process Sprited Away was filed away as one of the lesser Ghibli's - still great, but compared to Laputa, Grave of the Fireflies and a few others, it seemed a little weak.

BUT... I recently re-watched it on DVD with the subtitles and found the difference unbelievable. The film came alive like the other Miyazaki's I've seen. It seemed infinitely more layered, detailed, intelligent and witty than I remembered. Could it be that retaining the intended performances (even if the words are unintelligible) can make that much difference? Maybe the dub was just poorly done? Or was it just because I was now versed in the language of Ghibli? As a little experiment I decided to re-watch some of the film with both the English subtitles and English language dub in order to compare, I ended watching the whole thing out of morbid fascination. It's simply amazing what a difference there is. Entire scenes change. It's not just that subtle emphasis is shifted or the same points are made in a different manner - in the dub, the subject of whole conversations and scenes are changed, and often to some flat and uninteresting hokum. Relationships between characters are changed, their motivations and personalities are changed, the difference is shocking.

I appreciate western, and particularly American audiences can be put off by subtitles. And cinemas are less likely to show the film anyway. It's pointless to be all righteous when, fundamentally, you just want people to see the film. Unless they do, this treasure trove will remain undiscovered, and maybe finding it will encourage people to conquer the 'subtitle demon' (as Miyazaki might call him). But the problem is the quality of these dubs, and the liberties taken with the source material. Of course, without speaking Japanese, who can say it's not the subtitles that are way off? They're probably written by westerners too. But the dub just stinks of Disneyfication. Saturday morning generic nonsense. The challenging, uncompromising and emotionally ambitious nature of the film is severely watered down.

A fair question might be, 'if it's so bad why was it so successful?' The success is evidence of the films staggering quality. Even so, it hardly challenged whatever Jerry Bruckheimer movie was showing at the time. In Japan it's the biggest grossing film in history. 'Go figure,' as Chihiro wouldn't say.


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