A visual masterpiece about a scared little girl's breathtaking journey of self-discovery. All of the fun is getting there.
Yet its visual surrealism, identity-bending and strong social/ecological message make it as much an allegory as a fable.
New York Daily News
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.
Luke Y. Thompson
New Times (L.A.)
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.
Wondrously strange and just plain wonderful.
New York Post
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.
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.
A very nutty fruitcake, Spirited Away is characterized by wonderfully detailed animation, packed with incident and populated by all manner of comic creatures.
It's a movie full of bewitching images and timeless fun and beauty.