Voiced by Daveigh ChaseA gangly, ten-year-old human girl, heroine of the movie. At first Chihiro is sullen, whiny, and afraid, with an annoying voice and sulky face. After her name is changed to Sen, she becomes brave and self-sufficient enough to free herself and her parents from the spirit world. As Sen evolves, her voice becomes less grating and her expression lifts and glows. By the end of the movie, when she becomes Chihiro again, her features appear much more mature. She is notable for her lack of greed, her respect for her elders, and her kindness toward others. These qualities cause those she meets to respect, love, and help her.
Voiced by Jason MarsdenA mysterious, secretive boy of about sixteen who can take the form of a flying dragon. He works for Yubaba, doing rather underhanded deeds such as stealing magic from others, but also has his own agenda. Haku helps Chihiro find an inner strength to survive in the spirit world. Alternatively gruff and gentle, he recognizes Chihiro when he meets her. However, he doesn’t remember why he knows her, nor does he remember why he can’t leave the bathhouse. Later, we learn he is a river spirit who once saved Chihiro’s life and that his real name is Kohaku River.
Voiced by Suzanne PleshetteA witch who runs the bathhouse and gives Chihiro a job. Yubaba is strict, greedy, and quick to anger, but she’s also fair and a stickler for following the rules of the spirit world. She understands the power of identity and changes her workers’ names as a means of control, such as when she changes Chihiro’s name to Sen. Yubaba is perfectly groomed and heavily bejeweled, and her head is huge in proportion to her body. As befits her station in life, she lives in opulent rooms at the top of the bathhouse.
Read an in-depth analysis of Yubaba.
Voiced by Suzanne PleshetteYubaba’s kinder twin sister. She helps Sen recognize what was inside her all along. Zeniba is the only one with power equal to Yubaba’s, and she’s an important key to the conclusion. She explains the other characters’ previous lives to Sen, who then confides to Zeniba that her real name is Chihiro. Zeniba critiques Yubaba’s lifestyle and misguided parenting style. In contrast to Yubaba’s luxurious quarters, Zeniba lives in a modest cottage far from the bathhouse.
Read an in-depth analysis of Zeniba.
Voiced by Tara StrongYubaba’s giant, spoiled baby. Yubaba keeps him isolated in a luxurious room, surrounded by soft pillows. Boh knows only what his mother chooses to tell him, until Sen expands his world. Although Boh is huge, he’s completely helpless. Boh is, in fact, what Chihiro might have turned out to be if she hadn’t come to the spirit world. Later, Zeniba turns Boh into a mouse, which allows him to escape his isolated state.
Voiced by David Ogden-StiersA spider-like spirit that runs the boiler room. He’s the first to witness the humanity that makes Chihiro special.
Voiced by Susan EganThe main female bathhouse worker. Lin is initially gruff with Chihiro but comes to admire her and act as her big sister.
No voice creditA sad, voiceless spirit. When No-Face tries to repay Sen for her kindness to him, the results are disastrous. He takes on a frog/worker’s voice after he eats the worker.
No voice creditOne of two birds with Yubaba’s head. This one is Yubaba’s pet, and the other is Yubaba herself. Yubaba turns herself into a bird to monitor the village. Her pet is turned into a fly by Zeniba.
Voiced by Michael ChiklisHis arrogance begins the chain of events that binds Chihiro in virtual slavery.
Voiced by Lauren HollyStrong enough not to give in to Chihiro’s whining, but follows her husband in spite of her misgivings.
No voice creditAn ancient river spirit that has been polluted. To thank her for cleaning him, he gives Sen a food reward that enables her to purge others of what ails them.
No voice creditEnchanted soot works for Kamaji and haul coal in the boiler room. Chihiro’s kindness to the soot makes Kamaji her first ally.
No voice creditThree disembodied heads that act as attendants for Yubaba. They move by bouncing around on the floor and make odd ponging noises, like video game characters.
Although this page puts it that Chihiro and Haku share a purely platonic, brother/sister love, this is not true. For one thing, it just doesn't seem like it in the movie. For another, and more importantly, when the movie is played in Chinese, the boiler man (or Zeniba, I forget who) refers to Haku as Chihiro's 男朋友 which means boyfriend. So definitely, romantic relationship there.
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I always wondered why Kamaji told Chihiro that the train used to go two ways, yet it only goes one way now. He could have just told her that it goes one way, right?
Does the conjecture; the train symbolises going to the afterlife, and that our lack of belief has caused it to become a one way trip, make sense?
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When Chihiro and her parents exited the amusement park and entered their car, why was it filled with leaves and branches, just as if they left the car for several months in the woods? I also noticed that the vegetation had grown substantially. Maybe I am mistaken or time runs differently in the spirit world, any thoughts?
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