Why Is Spirited Rated PG-13? Exploring the Classification of the Film

Why Is Spirited Rated PG-13? Exploring the Classification of the Film

Why Is Spirited Rated PG-13? Exploring the Classification of the Film

Released in 2001, Spirited Away is a beloved animated film by the renowned Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. While the film has captured the hearts of audiences around the world with its enchanting story, stunning visuals, and memorable characters, it is important to understand why it is rated PG-13. In this article, we will explore the classification of Spirited Away and delve into the reasons behind its rating.

1. Dark Themes and Imagery

One of the main reasons why Spirited Away received a PG-13 rating is due to its dark themes and imagery. The film takes place in a mystical spirit realm called the “Spirit World,” and portrays various supernatural creatures and events. These elements can be quite intense and may be unsettling for younger viewers.

The film also tackles complex themes such as greed, identity, and growing up. It explores the protagonist Chihiro’s journey in the spirit world, where she encounters challenging and sometimes terrifying situations. The depth and exploration of these themes contribute to the film’s rating.

2. Scary Scenes

Spirited Away features several scary scenes that further justify its PG-13 rating. The movie includes moments of suspense, peril, and instances of mild violence. While these scenes are crucial to the plot and character development, they might be too intense for younger children.

For example, there is a scene where Chihiro’s parents are transformed into pigs after devouring food meant for spirits. This transformation can be shocking and disturbing for some viewers. Additionally, there are encounters with eerie spirits and moments of peril that may evoke fear in younger audiences.

3. Cultural Differences

Spirited Away is deeply rooted in Japanese culture and folklore, which may make it less relatable for viewers from other cultural backgrounds. The film showcases traditional Japanese elements, such as Shinto beliefs and traditional baths, which might require some context for a full understanding.

Moreover, certain cultural nuances and themes might not be fully grasped or appreciated by younger audiences. The complexities and cultural references in Spirited Away are better understood by older viewers who can engage with the film on a deeper level.

4. Emotional and Mature Content

While Spirited Away is an animated film, it deals with emotional and mature content that is better suited for older viewers. The movie touches on topics such as loss, sacrifice, and the ambiguous nature of good and evil.

Furthermore, the film’s narrative explores the journey of self-discovery and personal growth, which can be more appreciated by teenagers and adults. The emotional depth and mature themes depicted in Spirited Away contribute to its higher rating.


Spirited Away’s PG-13 rating is a reflection of its dark themes, scary scenes, cultural differences, and emotional and mature content. The film, while enchanting and captivating, deals with complex topics that may require a certain level of emotional maturity and understanding. Understanding the reasons behind its rating allows viewers to make informed choices about whether it is suitable for younger audiences or if it should be reserved for older viewers who can fully appreciate its depth and artistry.

Overall, Spirited Away remains a remarkable and timeless film that continues to enchant and captivate audiences of all ages, but its rating serves as a reminder that it explores deeper themes and topics that may not be suitable for the youngest viewers.


1. What is the rating of the film Spirited?

The film Spirited is rated PG-13.

2. Is Spirited suitable for all ages?

No, Spirited is not suitable for all ages as it has a PG-13 rating.

3. What does the PG-13 rating indicate?

The PG-13 rating indicates that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13 years of age and parental guidance is suggested.

4. Why is Spirited rated PG-13?

Spirited is rated PG-13 due to its themes of death and supernatural elements, which may be intense or frightening for younger children.

5. What are the specific reasons behind Spirited’s PG-13 rating?

The specific reasons for Spirited’s PG-13 rating include some intense and emotionally challenging scenes, mature themes, and complex storytelling that may not be suitable for younger viewers.

6. What age group is recommended for the film Spirited?

Spirited is recommended for viewers who are 13 years of age or older.

7. Can a child below 13 watch Spirited with parental guidance?

Yes, a child below 13 can watch Spirited with parental guidance, as the PG-13 rating suggests.

8. Are there any specific content warnings for Spirited?

Some specific content warnings for Spirited may include scenes of death, afterlife, mature themes, and supernatural elements that may be distressing for younger or sensitive viewers.

9. Can parents decide whether their child can watch Spirited regardless of the rating?

Yes, parents can ultimately decide whether their child can watch Spirited regardless of the rating, as they know their child’s maturity level and sensitivity to certain themes.

10. Is Spirited appropriate for a family movie night?

While Spirited can be enjoyed by families, it is important for parents to consider the rating and the content of the film before deciding if it is appropriate for a family movie night.