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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The theory that Yubaba and Zeniba are the same person. This is only applicable in the English dub. In the original Japanese version, Yubaba is much more vindictive and sinister, and has no intention to release anybody under her power willingly.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Pretty much all the background songs by Joe Hisaishi, especially Reprise, The Dragon Boy, "The Sixth Station", and the credits music, "Itsumo Nando Demo."
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The Radish Spirit.
    • The little soot creatures.
    • "Oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy, oy!"
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: The English dub gives us:
  • Funny Moments: Have their own page.
  • Girls Need Role Models: According to Miyazaki, part of the reason he made the film. He wanted a heroine who young girls could identify with who was realistic, likable and not overly sexualized like so many others in anime.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Have their own page.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Some of what happens in the film is quite graphic and disturbing, including:
    • Chihiro's parents turning into pigs while she's helpless to do anything.
    • Haku almost bleeding to death.
    • When No Face eats the workers, especially since he's normally a "no face".
  • Squick: Studio Ghibli has a thing for goo...and it's pretty evident here.
  • Toy Ship: Chihiro and Haku. This became obvious once Haku's role as the Mysterious Protector was established.
    • This is something most Miyazaki films have in common. Not that it makes it any less sweet, though.
  • Ugly Cute: Some of the bathhouse spirits, particularly the Radish Spirit.
  • Uncanny Valley: Many of the spirits have proportions that are just wrong. The effect can be rather unsettlingly at first.
  • Vindicated by Cable: The movie wasn't a success in the US at first, but positive word of mouth and strong DVD sales made the movie one of Miyazaki's most well known films in the US.
  • What Do You Mean It's for Kids?:
    • For a film aimed at young children, there's an awful lot of blood and other potentially frightening imagery, especially considering it was released in the West.
    • There's also some rather deep layers of meaning which won't be apparent to younger viewers.
  • The Woobie: Chihiro, so woobie you can't help but want to give her a hug and tell her everything's going to be okay.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: No Face.
  • Woolseyism: As mentioned above, the Disney dub is high quality, but there are some things that Disney thought needed to be explicated, so a few things are left out that either become more obvious in the Japanese version or were changed in the English to fit in. These changes aren't necessarily bad, and some people prefer them, but they are different.
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