Trivia - Spirited Away (2001)
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Spirited Away (2001)

Genres: Animation, Adventure, Family

Taglines: (The tunnel led Chihiro to a mysterious town...)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Writers: Hayao Miyazaki

Stars: Rumi Hiiragi, Takashi Naitô, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Miyu Irino, ...

Chihiro and her parents are moving to a small Japanese town in the countryside, much to Chihiro's dismay. On the way to their new home, Chihiro's father makes a wrong turn and drives down a lonely one-lane road which dead-ends in front of a tunnel. Her parents decide to stop the car and explore the area. They go through the tunnel and find an abandoned amusement park on the other side, with its own little town. When her parents see a restaurant with great-smelling food but no staff, they decide to eat and pay later. However, Chihiro refuses to eat and decides to explore the theme park a bit more. She meets a boy named Haku who tells her that Chihiro and her parents are in danger, and they must leave immediately. She runs to the restaurant and finds that her parents have turned into pigs. In addition, the theme park turns out to be a town inhabited by demons, spirits, and evil gods. At the center of the town is a bathhouse where these creatures go to relax. The owner of the bathhouse ...
First anime film to be nominated for (and win) an Academy Award. It also has the longest runtime of any other film nominated or winning in that category (125 minutes).
This is the first film to earn US$200 million in grosses before opening in the U.S.
The cleansing of the river spirit is based on a real-life incident in Hayao Miyazaki's life in which he participated in the cleaning of a river, removing, among other things, a bicycle.
In order to animate the scene where Chihiro force feeds Haku the medicine in his dragon form, Hayao Miyazaki had his animators study a dog's mouth as they fed it treats while a veterinarian held its lower jaw.
Although Hayao Miyazaki had considered retiring after completing Mononoke-hime (1997), he was inspired to make this film after seeing a friend's sullen 10-year-old daughter.
Chi and Sen both use the same Japanese Kanji, which means 1,000 but are different readings of the same character. The name Sen is also a play on the name Chihiro.
Executive Producer John Lasseter of Pixar supervised the English-language dubbing of the film and tried to match the actors' English-language dialog with the mouth movements of the animated characters.
The theme of not looking back is a reference to Lot and his family as they flee Sodom and Gamorah and possibly the later Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
The star-shaped treats the Susuwatari (black soots) were carrying are called kompeitô, a type of traditional Japanese candy.
This was the first film directed by Hayao Miyazaki in which a child character was actually voiced by a child.
First Studio Ghibli film produced in full digital process with DLP technology.
In the English-language version, John Ratzenberger (Aogaeru) completely improvised the ditty he sings when he is extolling the virtues of the rich customer No-Face. ("Welcome the rich man, he's hard for you to miss...") The original script's song was "Wel
The song over the closing credits ("Itsumo Nando Demo"/"Always With Me") was intended for a Hayao Miyazaki film that was never made. Miyazaki played it relentlessly while making this film and decided to include it in the end credits.
The beginning of the title is a play on words: "sen to" (meaning "thousand and") if read as one word "sento" means bath house, the setting for the film.
First Studio Ghibli film in Dolby Digital EX 6.1 and DTS-ES 6.1 sound.
Chosen by "Les Cahiers du cinéma" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2002 (#08, with Spider (2002))
Last film of Suzanne Pleshette (Yubaba).
The voices were looped in after the animation was completed. This is typical procedure for Japanese animation.
Hayao Miyazaki:  [pigs]  Chihiro's parents are turned into pigs as a result of eating food intended for the gods.
Hayao Miyazaki:  [gorging on food]  Chihiro's parents eat greedily near the start of the movie.
Hayao Miyazaki:  [flying]  Chihiro flies on the dragon Haku's back.
Hayao Miyazaki:  [Dust Bunnies]  The little soot ball that help carry coal to the burner.
Lines were added in the English-language-dubbed version that do not exist in the original version: when Sen says that Haku is a dragon after she sees her parents in the barn; and the last lines between Chihiro and her parents in the car at the end.
Although Hayao Miyazaki had considered retiring after completing Princess Mononoke (1997), he was inspired to make this film after seeing a friend's sullen 10-year-old daughter.
Miyazaki accepts that the film is not just a children's fantasy film but also throws light on the problem of Prostitution in Japan. In the some period in Japan, big cities had bathhouses strictly for men where women masseurs also known as "Yuna" gave sexu
As of 2015, the highest-rated animated film (traditional or computer) in the IMDb Top 250.
When Chihiro arrives at Zenibas house, the jumping lamp plus its sound effect is a nod to the famous lamp in every Pixar intro
One of only two animated films ever to receive the Japan Academy Prize for picture of the year, the first being Princess Mononoke (1997).
Jason Marsden (Haku) and Suzanne Pleshette (Yubaba) voice acted as mother and son in the 1998 animated film, The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride (1998).
When Chihiro arrives at Zeniba's house, the jumping lamp with sound effect is a nod to the Pixar logo.
The theme of not looking back is an homage to the Biblical man Lot and his family as they flee Sodom and Gomorrah, and possibly the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
One of only two animated films ever to receive the Japan Academy Prize for picture of the year, the first being Princess Mononoke (1997), a product of the same crew.
Jason Marsden (Haku) and Suzanne Pleshette (Yubaba) voice acted as mother and son in The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride (1998).
Hayao Miyazaki accepts that the film is not just a children's fantasy film but also throws light on the problem of Prostitution in Japan. In the some period in Japan, big cities had bathhouses strictly for men where women masseurs also known as "Yuna" gav
As of 2016, the highest-rated animated film (traditional or computer) in the IMDb Top Rated Movies (Top 250).
The theme of not looking back is an homage to the Biblical man Lot and his family as they flee Sodom and Gomorrah and possibly also to the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
Daveigh Chase (Chihiro) and David Ogden Stiers (Kamaji) also co-starred together in Lilo and Stitch (2002).
Chihiro has a goodbye card from her "best friend Rumi". The Japanese voice actress for Chihiro's role was also named Rumi.
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
Hayao Miyazaki: [pigs] Chihiro's parents are turned into pigs as a result of eating food intended for the gods.
Hayao Miyazaki: [Dust Bunnies] The little soot ball that help carry coal to the burner.
Hayao Miyazaki: [gorging on food] Chihiro's parents eat greedily near the start of the movie.
Hayao Miyazaki: [flying] Chihiro flies on the dragon Haku's back.
In the scene during which Chihiro squashes the small worm like thing that inhabited Haku with her foot that, Kamaji tells Chihiro to "Cut the line!" Cutting the line is a Japanese good-luck charm performed by making a chopping gesture through another pers
To do the voice of Chihiro's mother talking while eating, actress Yasuko Sawaguchi actually spoke the dialog (in the original Japanese-language version) while eating a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Actress Lauren Holly did the same thing in the English
Chihiro's father drives a first-generation Audi A4 sedan. The level of detail included by the director includes the Audi's trademark "Quattro" four-wheel drive system when Chihiro's father decides to take the car in the forest. Along with the ABS (anti-lo
The city that Chihiro and her parents are moving to at the beginning is the fictional city of Tochinoki along Route 21, just north of Nagoya. Tochinoki is also the name of an amusement park to the north of Tôkyô and a spa resort in the south of Japan. The
In the English-language version, John Ratzenberger (Aniyaku) completely improvised the ditty he sings when he is extolling the virtues of the rich customer No-Face. ("Welcome the rich man, he's hard for you to miss...") The original script's song was "Wel
The scene at the end of the film where Chihiro and her parents are walking through the tunnel back to the car is the exact same scene as the one in the beginning of the film, only reversed.
The character No Face greatly resembles a silkworm, an important animal in Japanese culture. No face seems to have a white face and a mouth below it. Silkworms have markings that look like facial features, and their mouths are below these markings. Silkwo
The kanji names of many of the characters provide clues to their identities: Yubaba - hot-water crone; Zeniba - money crone; Kaonashi - no face; Bô - young boy/child; Kamajii - kettle/boiler pot/old man; Chihiro - thousand fathoms or thousand searches; Se
It is said that this movie refers to prostitution and many signs of that can be seen throughout the film, for example; The sign above the bathhouse has the sign "yu" which means hot water (bathhouse), and during the Edo period bathhouses were often associ
A minor dubbing error causes Haku's name to be slurred. His actual given name in "Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi" is Kohakunushi Nigihayami, while "Spirited Away" just refers to the Kohaku River, ignoring the rest of his name entirely, and therefore changi
In the scene during which Chihiro squashes the small worm like thing that inhabited Haku with her foot that, Kamaji tells Chihiro to "Cut the line!" Cutting the line is a Japanese good-luck charm performed by making a chopping gesture through another person's connected index fingers. This is done whenever someone is affected by some impurity. During footage of the dubbing process in the "Spirited Away" Nippon-TV Special, Rumi Hiiragi, playing Chihiro, was not aware of this concept and had it explained to her by Hayao Miyazaki. One of the sound engineers commented, "The young don't know it these days."
To do the voice of Chihiro's mother talking while eating, actress Yasuko Sawaguchi actually spoke the dialog (in the original Japanese-language version) while eating a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Actress Lauren Holly did the same thing in the English version with an apple.
Chi and Sen both use the same Japanese Kanji, which means "one thousand," but are different readings of the same character. The name "Sen" is also a play on the name "Chihiro."
As of 2016, this is the highest-rated animated film (traditional or computer) in the IMDb Top Rated Movies (Top 250).
The beginning of the title is a play on words "sen to" (meaning "thousand and"). If read as one word, "sento" means bath house, the setting for the film.
The theme of not looking back is an homage to the Biblical man Lot and his family as they flee Sodom and Gomorrah, and possibly also to the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.
Chihiro's father drives a first-generation Audi A4 sedan. The level of detail included by the director includes the Audi's trademark "Quattro" four-wheel drive system when Chihiro's father decides to take the car in the forest, along with the ABS (anti-lock brake system), which pushes the brake pedal back when Chihiro's father brakes hard seeing the statue.
The city that Chihiro and her parents are moving to at the beginning is the fictional city of Tochinoki along Route 21, just north of Nagoya. Tochinoki is also the name of an amusement park to the north of Tôkyô and a spa resort in the south of Japan. The large hill in their neighborhood where the dirt road begins is named Green Hill.
In the English-language version, John Ratzenberger (Aniyaku) completely improvised the ditty he sings when he is extolling the virtues of the rich customer No-Face ("Welcome the rich man, he's hard for you to miss..."). The original script's song was "Welcome the rich man--he's pretty big, you see/so all bow down and get on bended knee."
Despite having a rich plot with developed characters, Spirited Away (2001) was not made with a script. In fact, Miyazaki's films never had scripts. "I don't have the story finished and ready when we start work on a film," the filmmaker told Midnight Eye. "I usually don't have the time. So the story develops when I start drawing storyboards. The production starts very soon thereafter, while the storyboards are still developing." Miyazaki does not know where the plot is going, and he lets it happen organically. "It's not me who makes the film. The film makes itself and I have no choice but to follow".
Included among the "1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die," edited by Steven Schneider.
There are several instances in the English-dubbed version where dialogue was added in that was not present in the original Japanese release. In an interview with John Lasseter, he explained that it was a necessary addition to help clarify certain elements for American audiences. For example, what is clearly a bathhouse to a Japanese viewer might not be apparent to an American viewer, so this translation issue was fixed by having the character explain, "Oh, it's a bathhouse."
Chihiro has a goodbye card from her "best friend Rumi." The Japanese voice actress for Chihiro's role was also named Rumi.
Chosen by "Les Cahiers du cinéma" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2002 (#08, with Spider (2002)).
Spirited Away (2001) earned ¥30.4 billion, making it the highest grossing film in Japanese history, overtaking Titanic at the box office.
The characters in Spirited Away (2001) reflect who they are. "Boh" means little boy or son, "Kamaji" means old boiler man, "Yubaba" means bathhouse witch, and "Zeniba" means money witch. The heroine "Chihiro" means a thousand fathoms or searches, while her worker name, "Sen" just means thousand.
Hayao Miyazaki wrote, directed, and drew the storyboards for the movie; many directors have claimed that he essentially 'writes his movie with drawings', with films like Spirited Away (2001) being one man's work and vision. The filmmaker is so influential and involved in the production, the New Yorker once called him "the auteur of anime."
There is a common misconception that the film takes place in brothel. This is false; Miyuzaki made this film targeted towards the demographic of young females. Another quote of the creator that disproves this claim states he is displeased with how the sex industry has become more geared to include children.
The character No Face greatly resembles a silkworm, an important animal in Japanese culture. No face seems to have a white face and a mouth below it. Silkworms have markings that look like facial features, and their mouths are below these markings. Silkworms and No Face eat constantly and grow rapidly. At the end of the movie, No Face goes with Sen to visit Zeniba. No Face stays with Zeniba spinning silk.
The kanji names of many of the characters provide clues to their identities: Yubaba (hot-water crone), Zeniba (money crone), Kaonashi (no face), Bô (young boy/child), Kamajii (kettle/boiler pot/old man), Chihiro (thousand fathoms or thousand searches), Sen (thousand (pronunciation of chi kanji when isolated)).
It is said that this movie refers to prostitution and many signs of that can be seen throughout the film, for example; The sign above the bathhouse has the sign "yu" which means hot water (bathhouse), and during the Edo period bathhouses were often associated with brothels, places where men and women would exchange sexual favors. The women who worked at these kinds of brothels were called "Yuna" while the madam working at the brothel would be called "Yubaba" which, coincidentally enough, is the name of the witch running the bathhouse. Another noticable thing is that Chihiro has to sign a contract in which she changes her name (to Sen) which was also very common in these bathhouses. Also, "No face" tries to buy Chihiro with gifts and money, representing an obsessive client wanting to own her. Another noticable point that could be speculated about is that the dirty spirits visiting the bathhouse is how these women view their customers.
A minor dubbing error causes Haku's name to be slurred. His actual given name in "Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi" is Kohakunushi Nigihayami, while "Spirited Away" just refers to the Kohaku River, ignoring the rest of his name entirely, and therefore changing the meaning of his name drastically.
Lines were added in the English-language-dubbed version that do not exist in the original version; when Sen says that Haku is a dragon after she sees her parents in the barn, and the last lines between Chihiro and her parents in the car at the end.
To this day, Spirited Away (2001) is the highest-rated animated film (traditional or computer) in the IMDb Top Rated Movies (Top 250).
The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
After his bath by Chihiro/Sen, the river spirit rewards her with an emetic dumpling. Emetic is actually an ancient substance that induces vomiting and only was used for people who swallowed poison. Or, in this movie's case, greedy desires and manipulative agents from lost spirits.
Rumi is the name of a Persian poet.