Spirited Away review

We review Spirited Away - a magical, eccentric and beautifully realised anime from Studio Ghibli

Spirited Away

Certificate: PG

Voices of: Daveigh Chase, Michael Chiklis

Release date: 2002

5 out of 5


2003’s Oscar-winner for Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away (or Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi to give it its correct title) can also boast that it is the highest-grossing Japanese movie of all time.

An adventure for adults and children, it’s the tale of a ten-year-old girl who is moving with her parents to a new house in the suburbs. Her father, however, takes a short cut along the way into a mysterious tunnel, and they find themselves in a seemingly deserted town. As night approaches, faceless spirits appear and the girl realises she is trapped in a spirit realm while her parents have been turned into pigs, and only she can save them by facing her fears.

A superb example of Japanese anime, this is magical, eccentric and beautifully realised. It’s quite scary too, so not recommended for younger children, but older ones who think they have grown out of animated movies will be impressed, amazed and thrilled at this stunning adventure.

Is Spirited Away suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

Not for younger children – 10s and over only. Kids of that age should be fine but if you do allow a younger child to view the film, be prepared that scenes such as the parents turning into pigs, and the dragon being attacked by paper birds may scare them. They may also find Yubaba and no-Face scary.

If you like this, why not try: Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, Howl's Moving Castle, Coraline, Penelope,