Spirited Away (FAQ)

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What does the title mean?

Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi

The official English title is Spirited Away. The title literally means The Spiriting Away of Sen and Chihiro.

When was it released and is it coming to my country?

  • Japan - July 20, 2001
  • Hong Kong - December 13, 2001
  • Taiwan, Singapore - December 2001
  • France - April 10, 2002
  • Switzerland - April 10, 2002 (French Version)
  • Korea - June 2002
  • USA - September 20, 2002
  • Canada - September 20, 2002
  • Spain - October 25, 2002
  • Malaysia - November 7, 2002
  • Finland - November 29, 2002
  • Australia - December 12, 2002
  • Russia - January 2, 2003
  • Portugal - February 28, 2003
  • Norway - February 2003
  • Slovenia - February 13, 2003
  • Switzerland - March 27, 2003 (German Version)
  • Belgium - April 2, 2003
  • New Zeland - April 3, 2003
  • Poland - April 3, 2003
  • Italy - April 18, 2003
  • The Netherlands - April 24, 2003
  • Brazil - March/April 2003
  • Germany - June 19, 2003
  • Israel - July 3, 2003
  • Argentina - July 17, 2003
  • UK - September 12, 2003
  • Chile - September 18, 2003
  • Sweden - September 19, 2003
  • Denmark - October 10, 2003
  • Colombia - November 14, 2003

Disney contributed to the production costs of the film in return for distribution rights in certain countries, so there is a high likelihood of Disney (or a subsidiary) releasing it in other countries around the world.

Who was on the staff? Who are the voice actors?

Visit Spirited Away (credits) for complete details.

Who sang the theme song?

Yumi Kimura. See the page for more information about her and the song.

Did it use computer graphics?

Yes. Studio Ghibli got their collective feet wet using CG in Princess Mononoke, and took the plunge when they produced the 100%-digital feature My Neighbors the Yamadas. Computer graphics were used extensively in Spirited Away via digital inking and a few background CG scenes.

This article covers the use of Softimage products in the production of the movie.

Where can I find production cels?

The film was produced digitally, so there are no production cels; only production high-resolution frames recorded to high-capacity digital tape and later transferred to film.

When does the story take place?

Modern Japan, though most of the film takes place in the Land of the Spirits, where Chihiro has to rescue her parents by first finding out who she really is.

Who produced the film and what was it's budget?

The movie was produced by Tokuma Shoten, Buena Vista International, and Studio Ghibli. The projected budget for the film was ¥1.9 billion, but the exact costs haven't been released yet.

Is this Miyazaki's last film?

Miyazaki held a press conference on July 10, 2001 and said he was retiring from creating feature-length films; saying that it is now physically impossible to endure the long and hard work of directing a feature-length film. However, just like his previous retirement, it was short-lived. Miyazaki had been planning a semi-secret project, but came back to direct Howl's Moving Castle.

What do the various Japanese characters seen in the film mean?

The character on Yubaba's flag and over the door of the bath house: "Yu", meaning bath. The name of the bath house is "Aburaya" (house/shop/seller of oil). "Abura" means "oil", and can also be pronounced "yu" or "yuu". "Yu" (not "yuu") can be used for "bath" or "hot water". A bath uses hot water, and the hiragana "yu" can be written on a curtain (called "noren") at the entrance to a bath house.

On the front of the train: "Nakamichi," meaning middle way, but probably a name of a place.

On Boh's diaper: "Boh", which also means "young child".

What is Chihiro's last name?


What does "Kaonashi" mean?

"Kaonashi" literally means No-Face. Kao means face, Nashi means "there isn't". While No-Face's mask does resemble that of a Noh performer, the English pun of No/Noh is a coincidence.

What are the shoulder bindings that the workers wear?

They're called tasuki.

Japanese traditional clothes (Kimono) have long sleeves. So you wear Tasuki so that sleeves don't get in your way when you work.

Does Chihiro remember anything?

According to Miyazaki-San, Chihiro doesn't remember what happened in another world, but it was not a dream. Something really happened. To show the audience that something really happened, he gave several hints, such as dust and leaves on the car. Chihiro's hairband (given by Zeniba) glittering was also one of the hints. It is also to remind the audience what Zeniba said, "You don't forget what happened. You just can't recall it."

The last line spoken by Chihiro in the English dub is not present in the Japanese dub.