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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Chihiro, so woobie you can't help but want to give her a hug and tell her everything's going to be okay. But she also seems to be a bit of a spoiled and selfish brat in the beginning.
  • Narm: Chihiro crying shiny, oversized tears while eating a rice cake.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.