Parent reviews for Spirited Away

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Common Sense says

age 9+

Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 8+

Based on 90 reviews

Kids say

age 8+

Based on 286 reviews

age 10+

Wacky and Wonderful for Over 10

This movie is really wacky, but since it's by Miyazaki, it is beautifully wacky. I began to wonder if there were some mushrooms involved in its creation. I'm a big Miyazaki fan and originally bought this dvd for my 10 year old after reading the CSM rating and parent comments. I forgot about that plan and we watched this for family movie night. Both of my kids (ages (just turned) 7 and 10) found it disturbing. The 10 year old was ready to pull the plug early in the film out of boredom, but later he found it upsetting. I'm glad we stuck with it and saw the plot resolve; I think it would have been more troubling if we had not. My 10 year old is pretty sensitive, and did have nightmares after seeing this movie right before bed. The part that was most disturbing to my guys is when Chihiro's parents can't stop eating and are turned into pigs. They are then whipped by the restaurateur as they try to continue eating. That part was intense for both of them. We took a break midway through the film and both kids were hugging me saying, "I never want you to turn into a pig!" The frightening elements for young kids include: the fact that Chihiro is separated from her parents (and they are turned into pigs) for the whole movie; Chihiro is alone in a (very) strange place and is visibly frightened for much of the film. She is at the mercy of and mistreated by many characters early on; and her internal compass is superior to that of her parents and other authority figures. These ideas, particularly the last one, are scary and confusing for young kids. For these reasons I agree with CSM's 11 year old rating. There are some other creepy characters - namely Yubaba and No Face. Having said all of that, the quality of the film is superior, though the content is strange. I don’t regret that my kids saw it, but I’m glad I was right there with them, and I anticipate much conversation about it for a long time. In some ways this movie is on par with a movie like Pinocchio – not a pleasant experience for a young child, but the messages are loud and clear. As always, Miyazaki does a brilliant job of evoking a wide range of emotions using sounds like foot steps, silence, wind, and voices. The movie is visually stunning, like all of his films. The evolution of the characters is well done and the viewer feels part of that experience emotionally and sensually. And, even though Chihiro finds herself in frightening and perilous situations, she becomes calmer and more convicted as the story goes on, and we get to watch that transformation. There are so many lessons and themes that run through the film. Particularly reflective of the Asian culture, is that Chihiro's success comes from constantly consulting her inner compass, and having a care about her actions, often using deference as a strategy to persevere. We rarely see such protagonists in American films. She does not get caught up in the material pursuits of the people around her and stays true to her heart. I particularly appreciate the cultivation and manifestation of love in this film. It is very true and in no way sexual, which again, is rarely seen in American films, unless the love is parent/child or sibling related. In summary, I think this is an amazing film, on par with Eraserhead for its eccentricity, and typical of the high quality we expect from Miyazaki. I recommend this movie for everyone ages 11 and up. It’s probably OK for younger kids, depending on your kids, but I highly recommend that you watch it with them, and I wouldn't go below 7 or 8.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
6 people found this helpful.
age 9+

Spirits and Monsters

"I would never let you turn into pigs," my son told me after watching this film. My three-year-old found the first scenes frightening and didn't want to watch, so we turned it off. About 8 months later he was interested again. He said it was "spooky" (a good thing) and watched it twice over the course of a week. He now says it's one of his favorite movies. It is thematically complicated and visually stunning. It is not appropriate for all young children. The suggested age of 9 is probably about right, but if your pre-schooler likes ghosts and monsters as mine does, he/she might enjoy this. Don't let your kid watch it alone. It's intense and raises a lot of questions.
3 people found this helpful.
age 9+

Chihiro is a strong and wonderful to watch protagonist

I saw this film for the first time when it was released in the US. I was dragged there by my then boyfriend. My relationship to this film lasted way longer than my relationship with that person (as it should be). This film is one heckuva ride and I feel all the better for it. Chihiro's journey captured my imagination 20 years ago and still holds it in rapt attention. She is who I hope my son grows up to be like.
2 people found this helpful.
age 10+

Spirited Away my Favorite !!!!!

Dear Reader, (Again!) I will tell you that Spirited Away is one of my favorite Studio Ghilbli movies!I will say this -it was a little scary at first , and there is a part where Chihiro is walking on these precarious steps and one of them breaks underneath her and she seems to squash into the wall on the other side! Also,( this is from a Christian point of view) Sex & Nudity: 1\10 a huge baby is seen without a diaper from the back view . Chihiro and Haku show a loving bond. some women wear kimonos that are too low on them. Violence & Scariness : some creepy creatures are seen taking bath . Chihiro's parents turn into pigs. A huge spirit all covered in slime comes out of the bath house cackling. Language :1\10; Some mild insults like "little dope" "jerk" (or "jerks") and one exclamation of "I'll rip your mouth". Anyway , because of the scary moments I would probably recommend this for age 10 and older. P.S. I thought that No Face was a little bit scary at first ,but later on he's fine . Also, there is a scene where No Face is chasing Chihiro and starts spitting up trash.
age 6+

great for kids, with caveats

so with all media and kids, it depends on that individual child as there are varying sensitivity levels. i will explain my experience with it when it came out in the early 2000s. i was 8, my brother was 5. i was above average sensitive, my brother was below average sensitive. im pretty sure we watched it partly alone while our mother made dinner. my brother was not scared, at all. i felt slight tense excitement. the parents turning into pigs or the spooky setting did not feel too much, rather to me it felt intriguing, and i did not get any nightmares from it. but when i saw the only bloody scene in the movie (a wounded animal which the main character has a connection to), i was officially a bit traumatized, and felt scared later to watch the movie again. might have been cus i really liked animals. kids are different.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 8+

Good movie for the family

Very good. Worth to watch. I was not frightened, and I’m 8 years old.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 10+

Beautiful but haunting

This is a very beautiful movie, but has some really heavy themes and dark images that scared my 7 & 9 year olds. Parents turning into pigs really scared them. We ended up turning it off about halfway through because they were crying.

This title has:

Great role models
age 10+

Light review

It was great on visuals and great on the plot suspense. Its not for children under the age of 10 I would say. The plot has some difficult ideas to grasp and even for adults I would say that you would need to rewatch it in order to get the entirety of the film. I was really drawn in by the opening scene. I thought that it really was an enhancement to an opening scene.
age 4+

THE BEST MOVIE EVER

Violence 3/5 Sex 0/5 Language 0/5 Drinking/Drugs/Smoking 0.5/5
age 10+

The best animation movie I have seen!!

Spirited Away is an animation movie by Hayao Miyazaki from Ghibli Studio. The story begins with the main character “Shihiro”, a young girl who is a fearful and insecure girl. She wants to help her parents from becoming a pig by curse so she has to adventure in the magic world and find the way to go back home. The characters and story interpolate the meaning of the state of society which makes people from different ages get a different feeling from this movie. When I was young I was afraid of this movie, because most of the characters are frightened and creepy but when I grow up I found that this movie is so beautiful and full of emotion. In 2002, this movie won Best Animated Feature from Oscars which can guarantee the quality of the movie. In terms of visuals this movie is one of the most beautiful for me, also the time passes for many years but the lines and colors are still stunning and enchanted. Another main element that I really like is the Japanese culture. The buildings, the trees and the clothes in the movie express the feeling of period Japan very smoothly and it really suits the vibe and story. Although this movie is very good but I give it nine points five of the ten because when the story ends I have to cry everytime, also it doesn’t have any sad scenes. Finally, “Spirited Away” is still the best movie for me, when I feel down or want to get the good energy this movie is always my first choice to watch.