YMMV / Spirited Away

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The theory that Yubaba and Zeniba are the same person. This is only applicable in the English dub. In the original Japanese version, Yubaba is much more vindictive and sinister, and has no intention of willingly releasing anybody who's under her power.
  • Awesome Art: As is to be expected of any movie by Hayao Miyazaki, the film's animation is nothing short of gorgeous.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The Radish Spirit. Somehow, being The Speechless is part of his appeal.
    • The Sootsprites are a fan favorite, as always (basically little black balls of fluff with googly eyes).
    • "Oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy!" (The three heads.)
  • Fanfic Fuel: About half of the Spirited Away fanart and fanfiction department usually involves Chihiro being reunited with Haku an indefinite amount of time after the end of the movie and/or Chihiro returning to the spirit world.
  • Hype Backlash: For some people. The film is often lauded as the greatest animated film of all time, and almost always the best Studio Ghibli film. For a time, it boasted a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is an extreme rarity. While it's very difficult to find someone who hates the film (it's hard to find someone who dislikes it, for that matter), a few will say that it doesn't fit the "Absolutely Perfect and Nothing is Wrong with It" label that is often given to it.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Chihiro seems to be a bit of a spoiled and selfish brat in the beginning, but her parents are unsympathetic and dismissive of her plight, she's lost in a completely new world, where her humanity makes her an outcast to most of the spirits who inhabit the place, and she finds herself under contract from a ruthless businesswoman who's not willing to let her go.
  • Narm: Chihiro crying shiny, oversized tears while eating a rice cake.
  • Narm Charm: Then again, it's still a heartbreaking scene as Chirhiro just breaks down after everything she's having to take in.
  • Nightmare Retardant: No-Face eating people in the bathhouse? Terrifying. No-Face shouting "Wipe that smile off your face! YOU'RE STILL SMILING!" before eating one guy? Hilarious.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The train ride is the most iconic scene in the movie.
    • Chihiro riding dragon!Haku towards the end of the film.
  • Squick: Studio Ghibli has a thing for animating goo… and it shows! The fluid 'Stench Spirit' (and his slime trail) and the horrible effects that the purgative has on No Face are meant to produce that reaction and they succeed! Also invoked with blood: Haku's injuries produce a lot of blood and it gets everywhere.
  • Ugly Cute: Some of the bathhouse spirits, particularly the Radish Spirit. *squeak squeak squeak*
  • Uncanny Valley: Many of the spirits have proportions that are just wrong. The effect can be rather unsettling at first. Lin, for example, looks completely human, but the frog spirits (like the head of the bathhouse, not the green one) look like humans with distorted features.
  • Vindicated by Cable: The movie wasn't a success in the US at first, but positive word of mouth and strong DVD sales made the movie one of Miyazaki's most well-known films in the US.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: For a film aimed at young children, there's an awful lot of blood and other potentially frightening imagery, especially considering it was released in the U.S. In fact, it was rated PG in the States for the frightening scenes that occur since it might be a bit much for young children.
  • The Woobie:
    • Haku, who lost his home when his river was filled so apartments could be built, then loses his name to Yubaba and is forced to become her lackey after she puts a black slug in his belly to control him.
    • Chihiro, too, the poor girl didn't ask to get cooped up in the spirit world with a bunch of strangers after her parents get turned into pigs!
  • Woolseyism: As mentioned above, the Disney dub is high quality, but there are some things that Disney thought needed to be explicated, so a few things are left out that either become more obvious in the Japanese version or were changed in the English to fit in. These changes aren't necessarily bad, and some people prefer them, but they are different.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/SpiritedAway