Japanese theatrical release poster
|Hepburn||Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi|
|Directed by||Hayao Miyazaki|
|Produced by||Toshio Suzuki|
|Written by||Hayao Miyazaki|
|Music by||Joe Hisaishi|
|Edited by||Takeshi Seyama|
Spirited Away (Japanese: 千と千尋の神隠し Hepburn: Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, "Sen and Chihiro's Spiriting Away") is a 2001 Japanese animated coming-of-age fantasy film. It was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, animated by Studio Ghibli for Tokuma Shoten, Nippon Television Network, Dentsu, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Tohokushinsha Film and Mitsubishi and distributed by Toho. The film stars Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki, Takeshi Naito, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Tsunehiko Kamijō, Takehiko Ono, and Bunta Sugawara. Spirited Away tells the story of Chihiro Ogino (Hiiragi), a moody 10-year-old girl who, while moving to a new neighbourhood, enters the world of Kami (spirits) of Japanese Shinto folklore. After her parents are transformed into pigs by the witch Yubaba (Natsuki), Chihiro takes a job working in Yubaba's bathhouse to find a way to free herself and her parents and return to the human world.
Miyazaki wrote the script after he decided the film would be based on the 10-year-old daughter of his friend, associate producer Seiji Okuda, who came to visit his house each summer. At the time, Miyazaki was developing two personal projects, but they were rejected. With a budget of US $19 million, production of Spirited Away began in 2000. Pixar director John Lasseter, who is a fan and friend of Miyazaki convinced Disney to buy the distribution rights and went on to be the executive producer on the English language translation for the film's North American release. Lasseter hired Kirk Wise as director and Donald W. Ernst as producer of the adaptation. Screenwriters Cindy Davis Hewitt and Donald H. Hewitt wrote the English language dialogue to match the characters' original Japanese language lip movements.
The film was originally released in Japan on 20 July 2001 by distributor Toho. It became the most successful film in Japanese history, grossing over $331 million worldwide. The film overtook Titanic (the top-grossing film worldwide at the time) in the Japanese box office to become the highest-grossing film in Japanese history with a total of ¥30.8 billion. Spirited Away received universal acclaim and is frequently ranked among the greatest animated films ever made. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards, making it the first (and so far only) hand-drawn and non-English-language animated film to win that award. It was the co-recipient of the Golden Bear at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival (shared with Bloody Sunday) and is in the top 10 on the British Film Institute's list of "Top 50 films for children up to the age of 14".
In 2016, it was voted the fourth-best film of the 21st century as picked by 177 film critics from around the world, making it the highest-ranking animated film on the list. It was also named the second "Best Film of the 21st Century So Far" in 2017 by the New York Times.
Ten-year-old Chihiro Ogino and her parents are traveling to their new home when her father takes a shortcut. They enter what appears to be an abandoned amusement park that Chihiro's father insists on exploring. Finding a seemingly empty restaurant stall stocked with food, Chihiro's parents begin to devour the food greedily. While exploring, Chihiro finds an exquisite bathhouse and meets a young boy named Haku who warns her to return across the river before sunset. However, Chihiro discovers too late that her parents have turned into pigs and she is unable to cross the flooded river.
Haku finds Chihiro and has her ask for a job from the bathhouse's boiler-man, Kamaji, a yōkai commanding the susuwatari. Kamaji refuses to hire her and asks the worker Lin to send Chihiro to Yubaba, the witch who runs the bathhouse. Yubaba tries to frighten Chihiro away, but she persists, so Yubaba gives Chihiro a contract to work for her. Yubaba takes her name and renames her Sen (千). While visiting her parents' pigpen, Haku gives Sen her goodbye card addressed to Chihiro and realizes that she has already forgotten her name. Haku warns her that Yubaba controls people by taking their names, and that if she forgets hers like he has forgotten his, she will not be able to leave the spirit world.
Sen faces discrimination from the other workers because she is still a human and not a spirit; only Haku and Lin show sympathy for her. While working, she invites a silent masked creature named No-Face inside, believing him to be a customer. A "stink spirit" arrives as Sen's first customer, and she discovers he is the spirit of a polluted river. In gratitude for cleaning him, he gives Sen a magic emetic dumpling. Meanwhile, No-Face imitates the gold left behind by the stink spirit and tempts a worker with gold, then swallows him. He demands food and begins tipping extensively. He swallows two more workers when they interferred with his conversation with Sen, who walked away.
Sen discovers paper Shikigami attacking a Japanese dragon and recognizes the dragon as Haku transformed. When a grievously injured Haku crashes into Yubaba's penthouse, Sen follows him upstairs. A shikigami that stowed away on her back transforms into Zeniba, Yubaba's twin sister. She transforms Yubaba's baby son Boh into a mouse, creates a decoy baby and turns Yubaba's harpy into a tiny, fly-like bird. Zeniba tells Sen that Haku has stolen a magic golden seal from her, and warns Sen that it carries a deadly curse. Haku attacks the shikigami which eliminates Zeniba's hologram. He falls into the boiler room with Sen and Boh on his back, where Sen feeds him part of the dumpling with which she had intended to give her parents, causing him to vomit both the seal and a black slug, which Sen crushes with her foot.
With Haku unconscious, Sen resolves to return the seal and apologize for Haku. Sen confronts No-Face, who is now massive, and feeds him the rest of the dumpling. No-Face chases Sen out of the bathhouse, steadily regurgitating everything he has eaten. Sen, No-Face, and Boh travel to see Zeniba with the train tickets given to her by Kamaji. Yubaba orders that Sen's parents be slaughtered, but Haku reveals that Boh is missing and offers to retrieve him if Yubaba releases Sen and her parents. Yubaba agrees, but only if Sen can pass a final test.
Sen, No-Face and Boh meet with Zeniba, who reveals that Sen's love for Haku broke her curse and that Yubaba used the black slug to control Haku. Haku appears at Zeniba's home in his dragon form and flies Sen and Boh to the bathhouse. No-Face decides to stay behind and become Zeniba's spinner. In mid-flight, Sen recalls falling in her youth into the Kohaku River and being washed safely ashore, correctly guessing Haku's real identity as the spirit of the Kohaku River. When they arrive at the bathhouse, Yubaba forces Sen to identify her parents from among a group of pigs in order to break their curse. After Sen answers correctly, her contract combusts and she is given back her real name. Haku takes her to the now dry riverbed and vows to meet her again. Chihiro crosses the riverbed to her restored parents, who do not remember anything. They quietly walk back to their car, which is now covered in dust and leaves. Before getting in, Chihiro takes a last look back at the dark tunnel she came through.
|Character name||Japanese voice actor||English voice actor|
|Chihiro Ogino (荻野 千尋 Ogino Chihiro)/Sen (千 lit. "One-Thousand")||Rumi Hiiragi||Daveigh Chase|
|Haku (ハク)/Spirit of the Kohaku River (ニギハヤミ コハクヌシ Nigihayami Kohakunushi, lit. "flourishing swift-flowing amber [river] god")||Miyu Irino||Jason Marsden|
|Yubaba (湯婆婆 Yubāba, lit. "bathhouse granny")||Mari Natsuki||Suzanne Pleshette|
|Zeniba (銭婆 Zenība, lit. "money granny")|
|Kamaji (釜爺 Kamajī, lit. "boiler grandad")||Bunta Sugawara||David Ogden Stiers|
|Lin (リン Rin)||Yoomi Tamai||Susan Egan|
|Chichiyaku (父役)||Tsunehiko Kamijō||Paul Eiding|
|Aniyaku (兄役)/Assistant Manager||Takehiko Ono||John Ratzenberger|
|No-Face (顔無し Kaonashi, lit. "faceless")||Akio Nakamura||Bob Bergen|
|Aogaeru (青蛙, lit. "green frog")||Tatsuya Gashūin|
|Bandai-gaeru (番台蛙)/Foreman||Yō Ōizumi||Rodger Bumpass|
|Boh (坊 Bō) (Baby)||Ryūnosuke Kamiki||Tara Strong|
|Akio Ogino (荻野 明夫 Ogino Akio), Chihiro's father||Takashi Naitō||Michael Chiklis|
|Yūko Ogino (荻野 悠子 Ogino Yūko), Chihiro's mother||Yasuko Sawaguchi||Lauren Holly|
|River Spirit (河の神 Kawa no kami)||Koba Hayashi||Jim Ward|
|Radish Spirit (お白様 Oshira-sama, lit. "Great White Lord")||Ken Yasuda||Jack Angel|
Development and inspiration
|I created a heroine who is an ordinary girl, someone with whom the audience can sympathize. It's not a story in which the characters grow up, but a story in which they draw on something already inside them, brought out by the particular circumstances. I want my young friends to live like that, and I think they, too, have such a wish.|
|— Hayao Miyazaki|
Every summer, Hayao Miyazaki spent his vacation at a mountain cabin with his family and five girls who were friends of the family. The idea for Spirited Away came about when he wanted to make a film for these friends. Miyazaki had previously directed films for small children and teenagers such as My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service, but he had not created a film for 10-year-old girls. For inspiration, he read shōjo manga magazines like Nakayoshi and Ribon the girls had left at the cabin, but felt they only offered subjects on "crushes" and romance. When looking at his young friends, Miyazaki felt this was not what they "held dear in their hearts" and decided to produce the film about a girl heroine whom they could look up to instead.
Miyazaki had wanted to produce a new film for years, but his two previous proposals (one based on the Japanese book Kiri no Mukō no Fushigi na Machi (霧のむこうのふしぎな町) by Sachiko Kashiwaba, and another about a teenage heroine) were rejected. Miyazaki's third proposal, which ended up becoming Sen and Chihiro Spirited Away, was more successful. The three stories revolved around a bathhouse that was inspired by one in Miyazaki's hometown. Miyazaki thought the bathhouse was a mysterious place, and there was a small door next to one of the bathtubs in the bathhouse. Miyazaki was always curious to what was behind it, and he made up several stories about it, one of which inspired the bathhouse setting of Spirited Away.
Production of Spirited Away commenced in 2000 on a budget of ¥1.9 billion ($15 million). Disney invested 10% of the cost for the right of first refusal for American distribution. As with Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki and the Studio Ghibli staff experimented with computer animation. With the use of more computers and programs such as Softimage 3D, the staff learned the software, but used the technology carefully so that it enhanced the story, instead of 'stealing the show'. Each character was mostly hand-drawn, with Miyazaki working alongside his animators to see they were getting it just right. The biggest difficulty in making the film was to reduce its length. When production started, Miyazaki realized it would be more than three hours long if he made it according to his plot. He had to delete many scenes from the story, and tried to reduce the "eye-candy" in the film because he wanted it to be simple. Miyazaki did not want to make the hero a "pretty girl." At the beginning, he was frustrated at how she looked "dull" and thought, "She isn't cute. Isn't there something we can do?" As the film neared the end, however, he was relieved to feel "she will be a charming woman."
Miyazaki based some of the buildings in the spirit world on the buildings in the real-life Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei, Tokyo, Japan. He often visited the museum for inspiration while working on the film. Miyazaki had always been interested in the Pseudo-Western style buildings from the Meiji period that were available there. The museum made Miyazaki feel nostalgic, "especially when I stand here alone in the evening, near closing time, and the sun is setting – tears well up in my eyes." Another major inspiration was the Notoya Ryokan (能登谷旅館), a traditional Japanese inn located in Yamagata Prefecture, famous for its exquisite architecture and ornamental features. While some guidebooks and articles claim that the old gold town of Jiufen in Taiwan served as an inspirational model for the film, Miyazaki has denied this. The Dōgo Onsen is also often said to be a key inspiration for the Spirited Away onsen/bathhouse.
Music and soundtrack
The film score of Spirited Away was composed and conducted by Miyazaki's regular collaborator Joe Hisaishi, and performed by the New Japan Philharmonic. The soundtrack received awards at the 56th Mainichi Film Competition Award for Best Music, the Tokyo International Anime Fair 2001 Best Music Award in the Theater Movie category, and the 17th Japan Gold Disk Award for Animation Album of the Year. Later, Hisaishi added lyrics to "One Summer's Day" and named the new version "The Name of Life" (いのちの名前 "Inochi no Namae") which was performed by Ayaka Hirahara.
The closing song, "Always With Me" (いつも何度でも Itsumo Nando Demo, literally, "Always, No Matter How Many Times") was written and performed by Youmi Kimura, a composer and lyre-player from Osaka. The lyrics were written by Kimura's friend Wakako Kaku. The song was intended to be used for Rin the Chimney Painter (煙突描きのリン Entotsu-kaki no Rin), a different Miyazaki film which was never released. In the special features of the Japanese DVD, Hayao Miyazaki explains how the song in fact inspired him to create Spirited Away. The song itself would be recognized as Gold at the 43rd Japan Record Awards.
Both Walt Disney Pictures and DreamWorks bid for the US distribution rights. Eventually, Disney won the rights to dub the English adaptation of Spirited Away, under the supervision of Pixar animator John Lasseter. A Miyazaki fan, Lasseter would sit with his staff and watch Miyazaki's work when encountering story problems, and at one point they did so with Spirited Away, which impressed Lasseter. Upon hearing his reaction to the film, people at Disney asked Lasseter if he would be interested in trying to bring Spirited Away to an American audience. Lasseter agreed to be the executive producer for English adaptation. Soon, several others began to join the project: Beauty and the Beast co-director Kirk Wise and Aladdin co-producer Donald W. Ernst joined Lasseter as director and producer of Spirited Away respectively. Cindy Davis Hewitt and Donald H. Hewitt penned the English language dialogue, which they wrote to match the characters' original Japanese language lip movements.
The cast of the film consisted of Daveigh Chase, Jason Marsden, Susan Egan, David Ogden Stiers, and John Ratzenberger from Pixar. Advertising was limited, and Spirited Away was only mentioned in a small scrolling section of their film page on Disney's official website. Disney had sidelined their official website for Spirited Away, and given the film a comparatively small promotional budget. Marc Hairston argues that this was a justified response to Ghibli's retention of the merchandising rights to the film and characters, which limited Disney's ability to properly market the film.
The themes of the film are heavily influenced by Japanese Shinto-Buddhist folklore. The central location of the film is a Japanese bathhouse where a great variety of Japanese folklore creatures, including kami, come to bathe. Miyazaki cites the solstice rituals when villagers call forth their local kami and invite them into their baths.
Chihiro also encounters kami of animals and plants. Miyazaki says of this: "In my grandparents' time, it was believed that kami existed everywhere – in trees, rivers, insects, wells, anything. My generation does not believe this, but I like the idea that we should all treasure everything because spirits might exist there, and we should treasure everything because there is a kind of life to everything."
The film has been compared to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as the stories have some elements in common such being set in a fantasy world, the plots including a disturbance in logic and stability, and there being motifs such as food having transformational qualities; though developments and themes are not shared. Among other stories compared to Spirited Away, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is seen to be more closely linked thematically.
The major themes of Spirited Away center on the protagonist Chihiro and her liminal journey through the realm of spirits. The archetypal entrance into another world demarcates Chihiro's status as one somewhere between child and adult. Chihiro also stands outside societal boundaries in the supernatural setting. The use of the word kamikakushi (literally "hidden by gods") within the Japanese title, and its associated folklore, reinforces this liminal passage: "Kamikakushi is a verdict of 'social death' in this world, and coming back to this world from Kamikakushi meant 'social resurrection.'"
Yubaba has many similarities to The Coachman from Pinocchio, in the sense that she transforms humans into pigs in a similar way that the boys of Pleasure Island were transformed into donkeys. Upon gaining employment at the bathhouse, Yubaba's seizure of Chihiro's true name symbolically kills the child, who must then assume adulthood. She then undergoes a rite of passage according to the monomyth format; to recover continuity with her past, Chihiro must create a new identity.
Along with its function within the ostensible coming of age theme, Yubaba's act of taking Chihiro's name and replacing it with Sen (an alternate reading of "chi", the first character in Chihiro's name – lit. "one thousand"), is symbolic of capitalism's single-minded concern with value, reflecting the film's exploration of capitalism and its effect on traditional Japanese culture.
Yubaba is stylistically unique within the bathhouse, wearing Western dress and living among European décor and furnishings, in contrast with the minimalist Japanese style of her employee's quarters, representing the Western capitalist influence over Japan in its Meiji period and beyond. The Meiji design of the abandoned theme park is the setting for Chihiro's parents' transformation - the family arrives in an imported Audi car and the father wears a European style polo shirt, reassuring Chihiro that he has "credit cards and cash", before their morphing into literal consumerist pigs.
Spirited Away contains critical commentary on modern Japanese society concerning generational conflicts and environmental issues. Chihiro has been seen as a representation of the shōjo, whose roles and ideology had changed dramatically since post-war Japan.
Miyazaki has stated:
Chihiro’s parents turning into pigs symbolizes how some humans become greedy. At the very moment Chihiro says there is something odd about this town, her parents turn into pigs. There were people that "turned into pigs" during Japan’s bubble economy (consumer society) of the 1980s, and these people still haven’t realized they’ve become pigs. Once someone becomes a pig, they don’t return to being human but instead gradually start to have the "body and soul of a pig". These people are the ones saying, "We are in a recession and don’t have enough to eat." This doesn’t just apply to the fantasy world. Perhaps this isn’t a coincidence and the food is actually (an analogy for) "a trap to catch lost humans."
Just as Chihiro seeks her past identity, Japan, in its anxiety over the economic downturn occurring during the release of the film in 2001, sought to reconnect to past values. In an interview, Miyazaki has commented on this nostalgic element for an old Japan.
However, the bathhouse of the spirits cannot be seen as a place free of ambiguity and darkness. Many of the employees are rude to Chihiro because she is human, and corruption is ever-present; it is a place of excess and greed, as depicted in the initial appearance of the No-Face. In stark contrast to the simplicity of Chihiro's journey and transformation is the constant chaotic carnival in the background.
There are two major instances of allusions to environmental issues within the movie. The first is seen when Chihiro is dealing with the "stink spirit." The stink spirit was actually a river spirit, but it was so corrupted with filth that one couldn't tell what it was at first glance. It only became clean again when Chihiro pulled out a huge amount of trash, including car tires, garbage, and a bicycle. This alludes to human pollution of the environment, and how people can carelessly toss away things without thinking of the consequences and of where the trash will go. The second allusion is seen in Haku himself. Haku does not remember his name and lost his past, which is why he is stuck at the bathhouse. Eventually, Chihiro remembers that he used to be the spirit of the Kohaku River, which was destroyed and replaced with apartments. Because of humans' need for development, they destroyed a part of nature, causing Haku to lose his home and identity. This can be compared to deforestation and desertification; humans tear down nature, cause imbalance in the ecosystem, and demolish animals' homes to satisfy their want for more space (housing, malls, stores, etc.) but don't think about how it can affect other living things.
Additional themes are expressed through the No-Face, who reflects the characters which surround him, learning by example and taking the traits of whomever he consumes. This nature results in No-Face's monstrous rampage through the bath house. After Chihiro saves No-Face with the emetic dumpling, he becomes timid once more. At the end of the film, Zeniba decides to take care of No-Face so he can develop without the negative influence of the bathhouse.
Box office and theatrical release
Spirited Away was released theatrically in Japan on 20 July 2001 by distributor Toho, grossing ¥30.4 billion to become the highest-grossing film in Japanese history, according to the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan. Its gross at the Japanese box office later increased to ¥30.8 billion. It was also the first film to earn $200 million at the worldwide box office before opening in the United States.
The film was dubbed into English by Walt Disney Pictures, under the supervision of Pixar's John Lasseter. The dubbed version premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September 2002 and was later released in North America on 20 September 2002. Spirited Away had very little marketing, less than Disney's other B-films, with at most, 151 theaters showing the film in 2002. After the 2003 Oscars, it expanded to as many as 714 theaters. The film grossed US$4 million in its opening weekend and ultimately grossed around $10 million by September 2003. Outside of Japan and the United States, the movie was moderately successful in both South Korea and France where it grossed $11 million and $6 million, respectively. Combined profits from other countries gave the movie a worldwide total of about $331.4 million. In Argentina, it is in the top 10 anime films with the most tickets sold.
About 18 years after its original release in Japan, Spirited Away is set to have a theatrical release in China on 21 June 2019. It follows the theatrical China release of My Neighbour Totoro in December 2018. The delayed theatrical release in China was due to long-standing political tensions between China and Japan, but many Chinese became familiar with Miyazaki's films due to rampant video piracy.
Spirited Away was first released on VHS and DVD format in Japan by Buena Vista Home Entertainment on 19 July 2002. The Japanese DVD releases includes storyboards for the film and the special edition includes a Ghibli DVD player. Spirited Away sold 5.5 million home video units in Japan by 2007, and currently holds the record for most home video copies sold of all-time in Japan. In North America, the film was released on DVD and VHS formats by Walt Disney Home Entertainment on 15 April 2003. The attention brought by the Oscar win resulted in the film becoming a strong seller. The bonus features include Japanese trailers, a making-of documentary which originally aired on Nippon Television, interviews with the North American voice actors, a select storyboard-to-scene comparison and The Art of Spirited Away, a documentary narrated by actor Jason Marsden.
The film was released nationwide in the UK by Optimum Releasing on 12 September 2003. and was later released on DVD and VHS as a rental release through independent distributor High Fliers Films PLC after the film was released to theaters. It was later officially released on DVD in the UK on 29 March 2004, with the distribution being done by Optimum Releasing themselves. In 2006, it was re-released as part of Optimum's "The Studio Ghibli Collection" range. The film was released on Blu-ray format in Japan and the UK in 2014, and was released in North America on 16 June 2015. GKIDS re-issued the film on Blu-ray and DVD on 17 October 2017.
Spirited Away received universal critical acclaim. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 97% approval rating based on 182 reviews, with an average rating of 8.6/10, and the 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." On Metacritic, the film achieved a weighted average score of 96 out of 100, based on 41 reviews, signifying "universal acclaim".
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a full four stars, praising the film and Miyazaki's direction. Ebert also said that Spirited Away was one of "the year's best films." Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times positively reviewed the film and praised the animation sequences. Mitchell also drew a favorable comparison to Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass and also said that his movies are about "moodiness as mood" and the characters "heightens the [film's] tension." Derek Elley of Variety said that Spirited Away "can be enjoyed by sprigs and adults alike" and praised the animation and music. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times praised the voice acting and said the film is the "product of a fierce and fearless imagination whose creations are unlike anything a person has seen before". Turan also praised Miyazaki's direction. Orlando Sentinel's critic Jay Boyar also praised Miyazaki's direction and said the film is "the perfect choice for a child who has moved into a new home."
In 2010, Rotten Tomatoes ranked Spirited Away as the 13th-best animated film on the site, and later in 2012 as the 17th. In 2004, Cinefantastique listed the anime as one of the "10 Essential Animations". In 2005, it was ranked as the 12th-best animated film of all time by IGN. The film is also ranked No. 9 of the highest-rated movies of all time on Metacritic, being the highest rated traditionally animated film on the site. The film ranked number 10 in Empire magazine's "The 100 Best Films of World Cinema" in 2010.
In his book Otaku, Hiroki Azuma observed: "Between 2001 and 2007, the otaku forms and markets quite rapidly won social recognition in Japan", and cites Miyazaki's win at the Academy Awards for Spirited Away among his examples.
- "Spirited Away (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. 14 August 2003. Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- The Making of Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" – Part 1 Archived 12 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Jimhillmedia.com.
- Elley, Derek (18 February 2002). "Spirited Away Review". Variety. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- 歴代興収ベスト100 [Successive box-office top 100] (in Japanese). Kogyo Tsushinsha. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- "Spirited Away (2002) – International Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
- North American gross: $12,427,717 (30 October 2018)
- Japanese gross: $229,607,878 (31 March 2002)
- South Korean gross: $11,382,770 (15 August 2002)
- French gross: $6,326,294 (26 June 2002)
- Other territories: $11,231,570
- Schwarzacher, Lukas (17 February 2002). "Japan box office 'Spirited Away'". Variety. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
- End of 2001: $227 million
- Schwarzacher, Lukas (16 February 2003). "H'wood eclipses local fare". Variety. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
- Across 2001 and 2002: $270 million
- Schilling, Mark (16 May 2008). "Miyazaki's animated pic to open this summer". Variety. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- As of 2008: $290 million
- "Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi". http://www.bcdb.com, 13 May 2012
- Shinto Perspectives in Miyazaki's Anime Film "Spirited Away ", Shinto Perspectives in Miyazaki's Anime Film, "Spirited Away", Volume 8, James W. Boyd, Tetsuya Nishimura, Issue 3 October 2004
- Sunada, Mami (Director) (16 November 2013). 夢と狂気の王国 [The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness] (Documentary) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Studio Ghibli. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014. Interview with Toshio Suzuki
- "15 Fascinating Facts About Spirited Away". mentalfloss.com. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
- Turan, Kenneth (20 September 2002). "Under the Spell of 'Spirited Away'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 19 June 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "The 50 Best Movies of the Decade (2000–2009)". Paste Magazine. 3 November 2009. Archived from the original on 12 December 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- "Film Critics Pick the Best Movies of the Decade". Metacritic. 3 January 2010. Archived from the original on 24 March 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- "Top 100 Animation Movies". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- "The 75th Academy Awards (2003)". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 28 November 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
- "Watch This: Top fifty films for children up to the age of 14". Archived 25 May 2012.
- "The 21st Century's 100 greatest films". BBC. 23 August 2016. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017.
- "The 25 Best Films of the 21st Century So Far". The New York Times. 9 June 2017. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 8 July 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
- Miyazaki on Spirited Away // Interviews // Archived 23 March 2017 at WebCite. Nausicaa.net (11 July 2001).
- "Spirited Away by Miyazaki". FPS Magazine. Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- "Notoya in Ginzan Onsen stop business for renovation. | Tenkai-japan:Cool Japan Guide-Travel, Shopping, Fashion, J-pop". Tenkai-japan. 1 July 2010. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- "Focus Newspaper: Hayao Miyazaki, 72 year old Mischievous Youngster (from 3:00 mark)". TVBS TV. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
- Dogo Onsen Archived 13 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine japan-guide.com
- Miyazaki's Spirited Away (CD). Milan Records. 10 September 2002. Archived from the original on 19 February 2015.
- "第56回 日本映画大賞 (56th Japan Movie Awards)". Mainichi Shimbun. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- "Results From Tokyo Anime Fair Awards". Anime Nation. 19 February 2002. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- "The 17th Japan Gold Disc Award 2002". Recording Industry Association of Japan. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- "晩夏(ひとりの季節)/いのちの名前 (The name of life/late summer)". Ayaka Hirahara. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- "Yumi Kimura". Nausicaa.net. Archived from the original on 20 April 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- "第43回日本レコード大賞 (43rd Japan Record Award)". Japan Composer's Association. Archived from the original on 9 October 2003. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "久石譲 千と千尋の神隠し イメージアルバム (Joe Hisaishi Spirited Away Image Album)". Tokuma Japan Communications. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- The Making of Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" – Part 3 Archived 17 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Jimhillmedia.com.
- Sunny Bay (22 June 2016). "Beyond Wonderland: 'Spirited Away' Explores The Significance Of Dreams In The Real World". moviepilot.com. Archived from the original on 14 August 2016.
- ""SparkNote on Spirited Away." Influences on the Film". sparknotes.com. 2004. Archived from the original on 14 August 2016.
- Reider, Noriko T. "Spirited Away: Film of the Fantastic and Evolving Japanese Folk Symbols." Film Criticism 29.3: 4–27. Academic OneFile. Gale. 11 February 2009.
- Satoshi, Ando. "Regaining Continuity with the Past: Spirited Away and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." Bookbird 46.1: 23–29. Project MUSE. 11 February 2009 (subscription required).
- Napier, Susan J. "Matter Out of Place: Carnival, Containment and Cultural Recovery in Miyazaki's Spirited Away." Journal of Japanese Studies 32.2: 287–310. Project MUSE. 11 February 2009 .
- "HSC Extension course" (PDF). New South Wales Department of Education and Training. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 January 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2016.[unreliable source?]
- Gold, Corey (14 July 2016). "Studio Ghibli letter sheds new light on Spirited Away mysteries". SoraNews24. Archived from the original on 24 March 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
- Mes, Tom (7 January 2002). "Hayao Miyazaki Interview". Midnight Eye. Archived from the original on 2 August 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- Thrupkaew, Noy. "Animation Sensation: Why Japan's Magical Spirited Away Plays Well Anywhere." American Prospect 13.19: 32–33. Academic OneFile. Gale. 11 February 2009.
- Harris, Timothy. "Seized by the Gods." Quadrant 47.9: 64–67. Academic OneFile. Gale. 11 February 2009.
- Saporito, Jeff. "What does "Spirited Away" say about Environmentalism?". ScreenPrism. Archived from the original on 3 March 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- Gomes, Paul. "Lesson Plan — Spirited Away" (PDF). UHM. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- Sudo, Yoko (4 June 2014). "'Frozen' Ranks as Third-Biggest Hit in Japan". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 24 March 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
Walt Disney's Frozen has surpassed ¥21.2 billion (about $212 million) in box office sales as of this week and now ranks as the third-highest-grossing movie ever in Japan, according to the company ... Having topped Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Frozen now trails only Titanic, which opened in 1997 and grossed ¥26.2 billion, and Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away, which opened in 2001 and brought in ¥30.4 billion, according to the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan Inc.
- Johnson, G. Allen (3 February 2005). "Asian films are grossing millions. Here, they're either remade, held hostage or released with little fanfare". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- Ball, Ryan (9 September 2001). "Spirited Away Premieres At Toronto Int'l Film Fest". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
- "Spirited Away Box Office and Rental History". Archived from the original on 16 January 2006. Retrieved 21 April 2006.
- Oliveros, Mariano (23 July 2015). "Los films de anime que lideran la taquilla argentina" (in Spanish). Ultracine. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "Hayao Miyazaki's 2001 Classic 'Spirited Away' Finally Gets Release in China". The Hollywood Reporter. 27 May 2019. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
- "These five Studio Ghibli films really should be released in China". South China Morning Post. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
- 千と千尋の神隠し (in Japanese). Walt Disney Japan. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- "ブエナビスタ、DVD「千と千尋の神隠し」の発売日を7月19日に決定" (in Japanese). AV Watch. 10 May 2002. Archived from the original on 30 July 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- 均, 中村 (23 May 2007). "110万冊無料配布。"ゲドを読む。"の狙いを読む 宮崎吾朗監督作品「ゲド戦記」DVDのユニークなプロモーション". Nikkei Business (in Japanese). Nikkei Business Publications. Archived from the original on 16 August 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
- "Frozen Home Video Tops Spirited Away as Fastest to Sell 2 Million Copies in Japan". Anime News Network. 14 August 2014. Archived from the original on 14 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- Conrad, Jeremy (14 March 2003). "Spirited Away". IGN. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
- Reid, Calvin (28 April 2003). "'Spirited Away' Sells like Magic". Publishers Weekly. Vol. 250 no. 17. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- "Studio Ghibli — The Official DVD Website". Disney. Archived from the original on 1 August 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- "BBC Collective — Spirited Away". BBC. Archived from the original on 30 November 2005. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- "Spirited Away (2 Discs) (Studio Ghibli Collection)". Play. Archived from the original on 19 July 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- "Optimum Releasing — Spirited Away". Optimum Releasing. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- "Amazon.co.jp： 千と千尋の神隠し [Blu-ray]: 宮崎駿: DVD". Amazon.com. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- "Amazon.com: Spirited Away (2-Disc Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack): Daveigh Chase, Lauren Holly, Michael Chiklis, Suzanne Pleshette, Jason Mardsen, Tara Strong, Susan Egan, John Ratzenberger, David Ogden Stiers, Hayao Miyazaki, Original Story And Screenplay By Hayao Miyazaki: Movies & TV".
- Carolyn Giardina (17 July 2017). "Gkids, Studio Ghibli Ink Home Entertainment Deal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
- "Spirited Away Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Archived from the original on 4 January 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "Spirited Away". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Ebert, Roger (20 September 2002). "Spirited Away". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- Mitchell, Elvis (20 September 2002). "Movie Review – Spirited Away". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- Turan, Kenneth (20 September 2002). "Under the Spell of 'Spirited Away'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 19 June 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- Boyar, Jay (11 October 2002). "'Spirited Away' – A Magic Carpet Ride". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 4 October 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- "Best Animated Films – Spirited Away". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Archived from the original on 27 December 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
- "Best Animated Films". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 15 January 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
- Persons, Dan (February – March 2004). "The Americanization of Anime: 10 Essential Animations". Cinefantastique. Vol. 36 no. 1. p. 48. Archived from the original on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
- "The Top 25 Animated Movies of All-Time". IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on 22 May 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
- "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema - 10. Spirited Away". Empire. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012.
- Azuma, Hiroki (10 April 2009). "Preface". Otaku. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. xi. ISBN 978-0816653515. Archived from the original on 19 July 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
- "List of award-winning films at the 25th Japan Academy Awards". Japan Academy Awards Association (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "Prizes & Honours 2002". Berlinale. Archived from the original on 15 October 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- "'Bird,' 'Spirited' nab kid kudos". Variety. Archived from the original on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- "第21屆香港電影金像獎得獎名單 List of Award Winner of The 21st Hong Kong Film Awards". Hong Kong Film Awards. Archived from the original on 5 August 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- "The 75th Academy Awards (2003) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 30 November 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- Fox, Kit. "Spirited Away". Animerica. Archived from the original on 7 April 2004.
- Matthews, Kate (2006), "Logic and Narrative in 'Spirited Away'", Screen Education (43): 135–140, ISSN 1449-857X
- Knox, Julian (22 June 2011), "Hoffmann, Goethe, and Miyazaki's Spirited Away.(E.T.A. Hoffmann, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Hayao Miyazaki)(Critical essay)", Wordsworth Circle, Wordsworth Circle, 42 (3): 198(3), ISSN 0043-8006
- Cooper, Damon (1 November 2010), "Finding the spirit within: a critical analysis of film techniques in spirited Away.(Critical essay)", Babel, Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations, vol. 45 no. 1, pp. 30(6), ISSN 0005-3503
- Cavallaro, Dani (2006). The Animé Art of Hayao Miyazaki. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. ISBN 9780786423699.
- Cari Callis (2010). "Nothing that Happens is ever Forgotten". In Josef Steiff, Tristan D. Tamplin (ed.). Anime and Philosophy. New York: Open Court. ISBN 9780812697131.
- Andrew Yang, "The Two Japans of ‘Spirited Away’", International Journal of Comic Art, vol. 12, no 1, 2010, pp. 435-452.
- Ayumi Suzuki, "A nightmare of capitalist Japan: Spirited Away", Jump Cut, A Review of Contemporary Media, no 51, 2009
- James W. Boyd and Tetsuya Nishimura, "Shinto Perspectives in Miyazaki's Anime Film "Spirited Away"", The Journal of Religion and Film, vol. 8, no 2, October 2004.
- Osmond, Andrew (2008). Spirited away = Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi. Basingstoke [England]: Palgrave Macmillan on behalf of the British Film Institute. ISBN 1844572307.
- Broderick, Mick (2003). "Intersections Review, Spirited Away by Miyazaki's Fantasy". Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context (9). Retrieved 5 June 2016.
- Coyle, Rebecca (2010). Drawn to Sound: Animation Film Music and Sonicity. Equinox Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84553-352-6.
Drawn to Sound focuses on feature-length, widely distributed films released in the period since World War II, from producers in the USA, UK, Japan and France-from Animal Farm (1954) to Happy Feet (2006), Yellow Submarine (1968) to Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005), Spirited Away (2001) and Les Triplettes de Belleville (2003).
- Denison, Rayna (2008). "The global markets for anime: Miyazaki Hayao's Spirited away (2001)". In Phillips, Alastair; Stringer, Julian (eds.). Japanese Cinema: Texts and Contexts. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-32847-0.
- Fielding, Julien R. (2008). Discovering World Religions at 24 Frames Per Second. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-5996-8.
Several films with a 'cult-like' following are also discussed, such as Fight Club, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Jacob's Ladder.
- Galbraith IV, Stuart (2008). The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-6004-9.
Since its inception in 1933, Toho Co., Ltd., Japan's most famous movie production company and distributor, has produced and/or distributed some of the most notable films ever to come out of Asia, including Seven Samurai, Godzilla, When a Woman Ascends the Stairs, Kwaidan, Woman in the Dunes, Ran, Shall We Dance?, Ringu, and Spirited Away.
- Geortz, Dee (2009). "The hero with the thousand-and-first face: Miyazaki's girl quester in Spirited away and Campbell's Monomyth". In Perlich, John; Whitt, David (eds.). Millennial Mythmaking: Essays on the Power of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, Films and Games. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-4562-2.
- Hooks, Ed (2005). "Spirited Away". Acting in Animation: A Look at 12 Films. Heinemann Drama. ISBN 978-0-325-00705-2.
- Napier, Susan J. (2005). Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4039-7051-0.
- Yoshioka, Shiro (2008). "Heart of Japaneseness: History and Nostalgia in Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away". In MacWilliams, Mark W (ed.). Japanese Visual Culture: Explorations in the World of Manga and Anime. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0-7656-1601-2.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Spirited Away.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Spirited Away|
- Spirited Away on IMDb
- Spirited Away at the TCM Movie Database
- Spirited Away at AllMovie
- Spirited Away at The Big Cartoon DataBase
- Spirited Away (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Spirited Away at Box Office Mojo
- Spirited Away at Metacritic
- Spirited Away at Rotten Tomatoes
- Spirited Away at the Japanese Movie Database ‹See Tfd›(in Japanese)
- 75th Academy Awards Winners | Oscar Legacy | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences