Spirited Away - Studio Ghibli Fest 2018 Movie Poster

Trivia for Spirited Away - Studio Ghibli Fest 2018

Showing all 54 items
Jump to: Spoilers (6)
  • The cleansing of the river spirit is based on a real-life incident in Hayao Miyazaki's life in which he participated in the cleaning of a river, removing, among other things, a bicycle.
  • In the English-language version, John Ratzenberger (Aniyaku) completely improvised the ditty he sings when he is extolling the virtues of the rich customer No-Face ("Welcome the rich man, he's hard for you to miss..."). The original script's song was "Welcome the rich man--he's pretty big, you see/so all bow down and get on bended knee."
  • First anime film to be nominated for (and win) an Academy Award. It also has the longest runtime of any other film nominated or winning in that category (125 minutes).
  • First Studio Ghibli film in Dolby Digital EX 6.1 and DTS-ES 6.1 sound.
  • Director Trademark: [gorging on food] Chihiro's parents eat greedily near the start of the movie.
  • Executive producer John Lasseter of Pixar supervised the English-language dubbing of the film and tried to match the actors' English-language dialog with the mouth movements of the animated characters.
  • Director Trademark: [flying] Chihiro flies on the dragon Haku's back.
  • Although Hayao Miyazaki had considered retiring after completing Princess Mononoke (1997), he was inspired to make this film after seeing a friend's sullen 10-year-old daughter.
  • The voices were looped in after the animation was completed. This is typical procedure for Japanese animation.
  • Chosen by "Les Cahiers du cinéma" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2002 (#08, with Spider (2002)).
  • The star-shaped treats the Susuwatari (black soots) were carrying are called kompeitô, a type of traditional Japanese candy.
  • Chihiro's father drives a first-generation Audi A4 sedan. The level of detail included by the director includes the Audi's trademark "Quattro" four-wheel drive system when Chihiro's father decides to take the car in the forest, along with the ABS (anti-lock brake system), which pushes the brake pedal back when Chihiro's father brakes hard seeing the statue.
  • In the scene during which Chihiro squashes the small worm like thing that inhabited Haku with her foot that, Kamaji tells Chihiro to "Cut the line!" Cutting the line is a Japanese good-luck charm performed by making a chopping gesture through another person's connected index fingers. This is done whenever someone is affected by some impurity. During footage of the dubbing process in the "Spirited Away" Nippon-TV Special, Rumi Hiiragi, playing Chihiro, was not aware of this concept and had it explained to her by Hayao Miyazaki. One of the sound engineers commented, "The young don't know it these days."
  • Chi and Sen both use the same Japanese Kanji, which means "one thousand," but are different readings of the same character. The name "Sen" is also a play on the name "Chihiro."
  • To do the voice of Chihiro's mother talking while eating, actress Yasuko Sawaguchi actually spoke the dialog (in the original Japanese-language version) while eating a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Actress Lauren Holly did the same thing in the English version with an apple.
  • Director Trademark: [pigs] Chihiro's parents are turned into pigs as a result of eating food intended for the gods.
  • The song over the closing credits ("Itsumo Nando Demo"/"Always With Me") was intended for a Hayao Miyazaki film that was never made. Miyazaki played it relentlessly while making this film and decided to include it in the end credits.
  • First Studio Ghibli film produced in full digital process with DLP technology.
  • The city that Chihiro and her parents are moving to at the beginning is the fictional city of Tochinoki along Route 21, just north of Nagoya. Tochinoki is also the name of an amusement park to the north of Tôkyô and a spa resort in the south of Japan. The large hill in their neighborhood where the dirt road begins is named Green Hill.
  • This was the first film directed by Hayao Miyazaki in which a child character was actually voiced by a child.
  • This is the first film to earn US$200 million in grosses before opening in the U.S.
  • Last film of Suzanne Pleshette (Yubaba).
  • The beginning of the title is a play on words "sen to" (meaning "thousand and"). If read as one word, "sento" means bath house, the setting for the film.
  • The theme of not looking back is an homage to the Shinto Myth of Izanagi (& Izanami) escaping from the Underground World of Death (Yomino Kuni), which is very similar to the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Many of the characters in this animation are based on Shinto Myth and have Shinto Gods' names. For example, Haku's true name 'Nigihayami Kohakunushi' is taken from an actual God's name Nigihayahi.
  • Director Trademark: [Dust Bunnies] The little soot ball that help carry coal to the burner.
  • In order to animate the scene where Chihiro force feeds Haku the medicine in his dragon form, Hayao Miyazaki had his animators study a dog's mouth as they fed it treats while a veterinarian held its lower jaw.
  • Jason Marsden (Haku) and Suzanne Pleshette (Yubaba) voice acted as mother and son in The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride (1998).
  • To this day, Spirited Away (2001) is the highest-rated traditionally animated feature film in the IMDb Top Rated Movies (Top 250).
  • One of only two animated films ever to receive the Japan Academy Prize for picture of the year, the first being Princess Mononoke (1997), a product of the same crew.
  • When Chihiro arrives at Zeniba's house, the jumping lamp with sound effect is a nod to the Pixar logo.
  • Chihiro has a goodbye card from her "best friend Rumi." The Japanese voice actress for Chihiro's role was also named Rumi.
  • Included among the "1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die," edited by Steven Schneider.
  • Daveigh Chase and David Ogden Stiers also co-starred together in Lilo & Stitch (2002).
  • Despite having a rich plot with developed characters, Spirited Away (2001) was not made with a script. In fact, Miyazaki's films never had scripts. "I don't have the story finished and ready when we start work on a film," the filmmaker told Midnight Eye. "I usually don't have the time. So the story develops when I start drawing storyboards. The production starts very soon thereafter, while the storyboards are still developing." Miyazaki does not know where the plot is going, and he lets it happen organically. "It's not me who makes the film. The film makes itself and I have no choice but to follow".
  • Hayao Miyazaki wrote, directed, and drew the storyboards for the movie; many directors have claimed that he essentially 'writes his movie with drawings', with films like Spirited Away (2001) being one man's work and vision. The filmmaker is so influential and involved in the production, the New Yorker once called him "the auteur of anime."
  • Spirited Away (2001) earned ¥30.4 billion, making it the highest grossing film in Japanese history, overtaking Titanic at the box office.
  • The characters in Spirited Away (2001) reflect who they are. "Boh" means little boy or son, "Kamaji" means old boiler man, "Yubaba" means bathhouse witch, and "Zeniba" means money witch. The heroine "Chihiro" means a thousand fathoms or searches, while her worker name, "Sen" just means thousand.
  • There are several instances in the English-dubbed version where dialogue was added in that was not present in the original Japanese release. In an interview with John Lasseter, he explained that it was a necessary addition to help clarify certain elements for American audiences. For example, what is clearly a bathhouse to a Japanese viewer might not be apparent to an American viewer, so this translation issue was fixed by having the character explain, "Oh, it's a bathhouse."
  • There is a common misconception that the film takes place in brothel. This is false; Miyazaki made this film targeted towards the demographic of young females. Another quote of the creator that disproves this claim states he is displeased with how the sex industry has become more geared to include children.
  • Rumi is the name of the renowned 13th century Persian poet.
  • The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
  • Everytime No Face appears there is Balinese Gamelan music to be heard in the background.
  • The only foreign film to date to win Best Animated Feature.
  • In the scene where Sen is on the train they pass by a island that resembles the Kami House from the Dragon ball series
  • Ranked number 37 non-English-speaking film in the critics' poll conducted by the BBC in 2018.
  • The first and (as of 2019) only foreign independent animated film to win an Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
  • The second animated film to be the winner of the academy award for best animated feature, the first being Shrek (2001).
  • The only traditionally animated film to win the oscar for Best Animated Feature, as of 2020.


  • A minor dubbing error causes Haku's name to be slurred. His actual given name in "Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi" is Kohakunushi Nigihayami, while "Spirited Away" just refers to the Kohaku River, ignoring the rest of his name entirely, and therefore changing the meaning of his name drastically.
  • The character No Face greatly resembles a silkworm, an important animal in Japanese culture. No face seems to have a white face and a mouth below it. Silkworms have markings that look like facial features, and their mouths are below these markings. Silkworms and No Face eat constantly and grow rapidly. At the end of the movie, No Face goes with Sen to visit Zeniba. No Face stays with Zeniba spinning silk.
  • The kanji names of many of the characters provide clues to their identities: Yubaba (hot-water crone), Zeniba (money crone), Kaonashi (no face), Bô (young boy/child), Kamajii (kettle/boiler pot/old man), Chihiro (thousand fathoms or thousand searches), Sen (thousand (pronunciation of chi kanji when isolated)).
  • Lines were added in the English-language-dubbed version that do not exist in the original version; when Sen says that Haku is a dragon after she sees her parents in the barn, and the last lines between Chihiro and her parents in the car at the end.
  • The scene at the end of the film where Chihiro and her parents are walking through the tunnel back to the car is the exact same scene as the one in the beginning of the film, only reversed.
  • After his bath by Chihiro/Sen, the river spirit rewards her with an emetic dumpling. Emetic is actually an ancient substance that induces vomiting and only was used for people who swallowed poison. Or, in this movie's case, greedy desires and manipulative agents from lost spirits.
Movie details provided by