Trivia / Spirited Away

  • Actor Allusion: "I'll miss you, Chihiro. Your best friend, Rumi." (In the Japanese version, Chihiro was voiced by Rumi Hiiragi.)
  • Author Existence Failure: Yasuyoshi Tokuma, the chief executive producer of Spirited Away and president of Tokuma Shoten, died during the early stages of production in September 2000.
  • Dueling Dubs: There are two Latin American Spanish dubs, both made simultaneously. One produced by Disney made in Prime Dubb/SDI Media de México, Mexico City (broadcasted in HBO) and another one produced by Primer Plano made in Videorecord, Buenos Aires for their theatrical distribution in Argentina.note  When Disney bought Primer Plano's Argentine theatrical rights of Spirited Away, they decided to release it with the Argentine dub instead of their own dub. To this date, the Argentine dub it's the most distributed in the region, being the only one ever released on home video and broadcasted on air TV and Disney Latino has come to distribute it in streaming and TV broadcasts in Disney Channel and Jetix; the Mexican dub, however...
  • Executive Meddling: With a rare positive spin and happy ending. After the lackluster box office showing for Princess Mononoke, Disney executives were hesitant to move forward with more of the Studio Ghibli films they'd bought the rights for. Castle in the Sky had been dubbed and shown up on the film festival circuit, but no proper release date was announced, and it seemed like the other Ghibli films would be lost in Development Hell. The happy ending? John Lasseter, then the head of Pixar, stuck his neck out to push for Spirited Away's production and release in America. Lasseter's championing of the film, and its eventual Oscar win, was the impetus for the eventual release of the rest of the Ghibli catalog on DVD, as well as the distribution of future Ghibli films.
    • On some editions of the DVD, John Lasseter appears before the movie begins to gush about how wonderful Spirited Away is. There's even footage of him with his arm around Hayao Miyazaki!
      John: Miyazaki-san, the world; the world, Miyazaki-san.
      Miyazaki: [Pause] ...hi.
  • Posthumous Credit: Yasuyoshi Tokuma is given a credit as chief executive producer, having been involved in the early stages of production.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Takashi Naito, the voice of Chihiro's father, is a fan of Miyazaki's works.
  • Reality Subtext: Devoted environmentalist Miyazaki included a bicycle getting pulled out of the polluted water spirit after a clean-up group he was part of actually did find one in a river.
    • When Chihiro accidentally steps on the slug, the Boiler Man does a "cut the line" routine with her. In Miyazaki's time, this was a "cleansing" ritual that kids performed among each other when one of them accidentally stepped in poo. Much to Miyazaki's chagrin, he had to explain this to Chihiro's young voice-actress!
      • The translation staff had trouble with the gesture as well, until someone realized that it was thematically similar to a "cootie shot" schoolkids would use.
  • Throw It In!: While the rest of the English dub had to be a perfect syllable-for-syllable match-up, John Ratzenberger was allowed to improvise new lyrics to the assistant manager's little song. The line "Now that's an esophagus!" (said after No-Face spits him out) was also his idea.