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 to release anybody under her power willingly.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Chihiro Ogino is simply disliked by many American "Hayao Miyazaki" fans, due to her sulking so often that it makes her come off as "whiny". But in Japan? Spirited Away and Chihiro Ogino were in 1st place as the Highest-grossing film of all time and Titanic1997 and Frozen were respectively in 2nd and 3rd place in Japan, according to The Japanese wikipedia.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The Radish Spirit. Somehow, being The Speechless is part of his appeal.
    • The little creatures created out of soot (basically little black balls of fluff with goodly eyes).
    • "Oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy!" (The three heads.)
  • Magnum Opus: A heavy contender for Hayao Miyazaki, along with Princess Mononoke and The Wind Rises. It commonly comes under one of his best films ever, which is even more impressive seeing his exemplary body of work as a whole.
  • Narm: Chihiro crying shiny, oversized tears while eating a rice cake.
  • So Cool It's Awesome: There's a very good reason why it won the Oscar for "Best Animated 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.
  • 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 Not 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 West.
    • There's also some rather deep layers of meaning which won't be apparent to younger viewers.
  • The Woobie: Chihiro, so woobie you can't help but want to give her a hug and tell her everything's going to be okay.
  • 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.