Spirited Away


Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 37
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 37
  3. Negative: 0 out of 37

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    A visual masterpiece about a scared little girl's breathtaking journey of self-discovery. All of the fun is getting there.
  2. Yet its visual surrealism, identity-bending and strong social/ecological message make it as much an allegory as a fable.
  3. Turns everything we know about the contemporary world on its head, and substitutes it with one in which spirits, monsters, magicians and animals mix it up in a carnival of energy, good humor and freewheeling illusion.
  4. New Times (L.A.)
    Reviewed by: Luke Y. Thompson
    Probably like nothing you've ever seen before. In a cool world, it would be guaranteed not only the Best Animated Feature Oscar, but Best Picture as well.
  5. Wondrously strange and just plain wonderful.
  6. 100
    A Japanese cross between "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Wizard of Oz" -- is such a landmark in animation that labeling it a masterpiece almost seems inadequate.
  7. A triumph of psychological depth and artistic brilliance offered as the magical adventures of one skinny little girl.
  8. 100
    Does full honor to Miyazaki’s teeming and often unsettling landscape, and to the conflicted complexity of his characters: Not a single frame was cut, and the voice casting and performances are uniformly excellent.
  9. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Artful but not arty, Spirited Away is a handcrafted cartoon, as personal as an Utamaro painting, yet its breadth and heart give it an appeal that should touch American viewers of all ages.
  10. Portland Oregonian
    Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Miyazaki is a genius, and this film is a masterpiece; go see it.
  11. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    An out-and-out charmer. It's almost impossible to do justice in words either to the visual richness of the movie, which melanges traditional Japanese clothes and architecture with both Victorian and modern-day artifacts, or to the character-filled storyline, with human figures, harpies and grotesque creatures.
  12. 100
    Prepare to be astonished by Spirited Away.
  13. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    It is plainly, though not simply, a masterpiece from an acknowledged master of contemporary animation, and a wonderfully welcoming work of art that's as funny and entertaining as it is brilliant, beautiful and deep.
  14. 100
    It's enchanting and delightful in its own way, and has a good heart. It is the best animated film of recent years, the latest work by Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese master who is a god to the Disney animators.
  15. The most deeply and mysteriously satisfying animated feature to come along in ages.
  16. Reviewed by: Patrick Peters
    The fact that Miyazaki and his team hand-draw the images before they're digitally coloured and animated gives them an artistry that has been woefully lacking from so many recent American features.
  17. It would be a masterpiece in any language.
  18. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Director Hayao Miyazaki treats his audience as imaginative and intelligent human beings, rather than catering to kids with rote displays of silliness, stunts and scares.
  19. 100
    Miyazaki is the Pied Piper -- see Spirited Away and you'll follow him anywhere.
  20. 90
    A very nutty fruitcake, Spirited Away is characterized by wonderfully detailed animation, packed with incident and populated by all manner of comic creatures.
  21. 90
    A wonderful encore, marked by the painstaking attention to detail and artful balance between terror and joy that make Miyazak's work unique.
  22. 90
    The towering, lost dreaminess at the heart of the film is an unmistakable obsession of this director.
  23. 90
    Enchanting and impressively crafted.
  24. Spirited dazzles and entertains like no other movie this year. It also comes to a satisfying conclusion and never once seems to take shortcuts. Miyazaki is one of world cinema's most wondrously gifted artists and storytellers.
  25. 89
    Fiercely original in every respect.
  26. It's a movie full of bewitching images and timeless fun and beauty.
  27. The most successful film ever released in Japan, and co-winner of the top prize at this year's Berlin film festival, Spirited Away is a complete reversal of the Hollywood way with animation.
  28. 88
    Offers a ride worth taking -- an excursion through a fantastical pop universe that is pure, enchanting magic. Try it; you'll like it.
  29. 88
    Overall, while Spirited Away may not be as complex and imaginative as "Princess Mononoke" in some areas, it is as beautifully rendered and no less sophisticated in its outlook. Miyazaki has provided another triumph, and, in the midst of the quality fall-off of Disney’s in-house animated projects, a reason for animation-lovers to rejoice.
  30. 80
    It will disturb you as much as thrill you, make you wonder whether the boundaries between life and death, reality and fantasy, imagination and insanity are ever what they appear to be.
  31. 80
    Old myths and wonder tales spun afresh.
  32. This movie -- which is equally appealing to children (those of adventurous, non-freak-outable spirit), Japanese animation (anime) fans, and any surviving acquaintances of Timothy Leary -- is so full of invention, you might want to take a breather now and then.
  33. Too intense for the youngest viewers, but teenagers will enjoy it -- an ill-smelling "stink-god" character is almost worthy of a Kevin Smith gross-out movie -- and grown-ups should find it diverting, if not exactly deep.
  34. 75
    Delivers chunks of ''Yellow Submarine'' and ''The Phantom Tollbooth'' -- a vividly timeless oddity suitable for many children and most stoners.
  35. Has the power to transport us to a different place. The spark of special anime magic here is unmistakable and hard to resist.
  36. A lovely, evocative tour de force. So why does it seem we should be enjoying it more?
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 1513 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 474
  1. Dec 13, 2011
    This is the best movie of Hayao Miyazaki . I have seen it over 7 times and I think it deserves a 10/10. All I can say is a epic movie it is great .
  2. Sep 29, 2011
    "Spirited Away", made by the Japanese animation king Hayao Miyazaki, is a amazing film. It has the capacity of diving deep into the characters"Spirited Away", made by the Japanese animation king Hayao Miyazaki, is a amazing film. It has the capacity of diving deep into the characters and script and transforming them into a mature state. Its a film that knows what its doing and perfectly executes it's job. It's just simply amazing... Full Review »
  3. Dec 27, 2011
    Spirited Away is imaginative, adventerous, thrilling, heartfelt, visually beautiful and funny. Hayao Miyazaki has definitely created the bestSpirited Away is imaginative, adventerous, thrilling, heartfelt, visually beautiful and funny. Hayao Miyazaki has definitely created the best animated movie yet. I give this movie 98%. Full Review »