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Spirited Away (2001)


Average Rating: 8.6/10
Reviews Counted: 168
Fresh: 163
Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: Spirited Away is a dazzling, enchanting, and gorgeously drawn fairy tale that will leave viewers a little more curious and fascinated by the world around them.

Average Rating: 8.8/10
Reviews Counted: 41
Fresh: 41
Rotten: 0

Critics Consensus: Spirited Away is a dazzling, enchanting, and gorgeously drawn fairy tale that will leave viewers a little more curious and fascinated by the world around them.


Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 329,267




Movie Info

Master animation director Hayao Miyazaki follows up on his record-breaking 1997 opus Princess Mononoke with this surreal Alice in Wonderland-like tale about a lost little girl. The film opens with ten-year-old Chihiro riding along during a family outing as her father races through remote country roads. When they come upon a blocked tunnel, her parents decide to have a look around -- even though Chihiro finds the place very creepy. When they pass through the tunnel, they discover an abandoned … More

PG (for some scary moments)
Drama , Animation , Kids & Family , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
Hayao Miyazaki
In Theaters:
Apr 15, 2003
Box Office:
Walt Disney Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Spirited Away

All Critics (168) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (163) | Rotten (5) | DVD (48)

Artful but not arty, Spirited Away is a handcrafted cartoon, as personal as an Utamaro painting, yet its breadth and heart give it an appeal that should touch American viewers of all ages.

Full Review… | April 23, 2014
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

The result is nothing less than magical, a throwback to the very best of early Disney. If I can't remember the last time I was this enchanted by an animated film, it's because I was too young.

Full Review… | April 23, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

It's an amazing work, filled with a visual intelligence that's meticulously composed and obscenely clever.

Full Review… | November 27, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

Miyazaki's luminescent, gorgeously realized world is relatively safe for children, but it also acknowledges blood, pain, dread, and death in ways that other animated films wouldn't dare.

Full Review… | November 27, 2013
AV Club
Top Critic

Spirited Away has much to say about many worthy things: the life of the spirit, materialist greed, the importance of words, the power of love.

Full Review… | November 27, 2013
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

Enchanting and impressively crafted.

Full Review… | October 25, 2011
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Spirited Away is a masterwork, the latest and best in a long line from Japan's premieranimator.

Full Review… | April 23, 2014
Screen International

Watching the Japanese cartoon epic Spirited Away is like strolling into Alice's Wonderland and seeing every wonder sprout up around you as if for the first time.

Full Review… | April 23, 2014
Baltimore Sun

To watch Spirited Away feels like a special gift. It is a film of such startling imagination, originality, intelligence, and emotion that I feel inexplicable joy when the opening title card fades in.

Full Review… | February 16, 2014
Movie Mezzanine

Anything but your regular 'toon, it's a (literally) fantastic experience.

Full Review… | November 27, 2013
Total Film

At times it's even vaguely reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz, only as if illustrated by Hieronymus Bosch. It's wonderful.

Full Review… | November 27, 2013
People Magazine

Director Hayao Miyazaki's insistence on hand-drawn graphics gives the CGI visuals an ethereal charm that ensures the story is always a pleasure to behold, even during its rare moments of inaction.

Full Review… | November 27, 2013
Radio Times

...a gorgeously animated yet sporadically entertaining endeavor that isn't quite the instant classic one might've expected...

Full Review… | March 5, 2012
Reel Film Reviews

Magnificent, spellbinding movie has a bit of edge.

Full Review… | January 2, 2011
Common Sense Media

Full of riches, thematic and visual, and the best way to understand them is simply to watch the film and take it all in.

Full Review… | March 31, 2010
Antagony & Ecstasy

Spirited Away exalts the young girl Chihiro's uncanny experiences into an adventure that is as thrillingly ambiguous as it is vividly soundtracked and illustrated.

Full Review… | August 25, 2009
Nick's Flick Picks

I went nuts over this movie.

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Filmgoers of all ages should not pass up the opportunity to experience such a work of staggering imagination.

Full Review… | December 28, 2008

This persistently fascinating if slightly over-long fairytale is propelled by the seemingly boundless imagination of writer-director Hayao Miyazaki.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Big Picture Big Sound

Spirited Away is wonderful.

Full Review… | September 3, 2008

Audience Reviews for Spirited Away


A sprawling epic concerning a young girl and her parents who stumble upon a mysterious ghost town while moving to another city. When he parents are turned into pigs and the girl is forced to survive on her own, she is faced with the difficult task of growing up fast and learning how to take care of herself while constantly having to prove she can stand up for herself when the town becomes inhabited by a variety of creatures, some abusive, some not. This animated film is a sensational one, a movie so full of creativity and wonder that also possesses some darker undertones not often seen in movies like this. It is considered one of the best animated movies ever, and I can see why, given the original story and flat-out phenomenal execution on just about every creative level.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer


A stirring and memorable adventure of poetry, color, tones and narrative all in the vividness of animation.

Adriel Lim
Adriel Lim

Super Reviewer


A young girl is transported to a magical kingdom populated with dragons, spirits and monsters where she must break the spell of its witch-like ruler to rescue her parents and return home. Studio Ghibli's answer to The Wizard Of Oz, Spirited Away is another beautifully crafted fantasy that will enchant children and adults alike. It contains Miyazaki's usual menagerie of strange and wonderful creatures who help and hinder a lost girl in a kind of Japanese homage to Alice In Wonderland. Bizarre and endearing in a way that's peculiar to the Japanese, this film is so beautifully drawn, animated and scored it's difficult to not be drawn into this magical world despite some rather obtuse plotting that may confound younger viewers. Strange and beautiful.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

A remarkably innovative and extremely bizarre version of Alice in Wonderland that may even be too somber for smaller children while more fascinating to adults, and it is not only perfect due to its episodic structure that also loses momentum and decelerates in the third act.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Spirited Away Quotes

Yubaba/Zeniba [USA Version]:
Once you've met someone you never really forget them.
– Submitted by Muhamad R (22 months ago)
Chihiro's father [USA Version]:
A new home and a new school? It is a bit scary.
Chihiro [USA Version]:
I think I can handle it.
– Submitted by Isabella M (2 years ago)
I finally get a bouquet and it's a goodbye present. That's depressing.
– Submitted by Isabella M (2 years ago)
[after turning Boh into a mouse] There. Your body matches your brain.
– Submitted by Isabella M (2 years ago)
Chihiro [USA Version]:
I'm dreaming,im dreaming! [pounds herself in the head]
– Submitted by David N (2 years ago)
[leans near elevator wall]
You wanna lose your nose?!
– Submitted by Diego T (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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