If you have never watched a Hayao Miyazaki film before, you should watch Spirited Away online. This fantasy tale is one of Miyazaki’s better anime films. It is also the only Studio Ghibli film to ever win an Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
According to reports, Miyazaki and Ghibli had previously been reluctant to let online services touch his classic films. (Many directors prefer the big screen theater experience over home viewing.)
Fortunately, Studio Ghibli in 2020 allowed streaming. The situation is still a little confusing because different services control different markets. Read on to find where to watch Spirited Away online.
Where to Watch Spirited Away
- HBO Max
- Apple TV/ Google
In many areas, you can watch Spirited Away on Netflix — but you won’t find it everywhere. For example, it showed up when I set NordVPN to the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Brazil, and Australia. But when I tried the same thing for Japan, Taiwan, or Korea, I got an error message.
You won’t find Spirited Away on Netflix in the United States, either. You’ll need a VPN if you want to watch in the U.S. (see below for more details).
For some reason, Netflix’s language options change depending upon where you watch from.
If you are in Canada, you can watch Spirited Away in the original Japanese, as well as dubbed in English, Spanish, French, and Italian — and with subtitles in all of those languages. Great Britain’s choices are Japanese, English, Arabic, Hindi, and Polish. In France, you get Japanese, French, English, German, and Arabic. Your local situation may be different.
- The streaming giant has a lot of anime available
- Available in many areas
- Multiple languages
- Never any ads
- Spirited Away is not available in Japan or the U.S.
- Netflix eliminated 30-day free trial options
- Basic level: $9.99/ month
- Standard: $15.49/ month
- Premium: $19.99/ month
Languages: Original Japanese and the Oscar-winning English dub available most places. Other choices may be available, depending upon your location.
How to Watch Spirited Away on Netflix from the United States:
- Download a VPN (we’ve confirmed that NordVPN works for this method)
- Clear your Netflix cache
- Choose the United Kingdom, Canada, France, or Brazil as your region in the VPN
- Log in to Netflix and search for Spirited Away
Great Britain: https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/60023642
2. HBO Max
If you live in an area where Netflix doesn’t offer Spirited Away, you might want to try HBO Max instead. But before you buy a streaming subscription, make sure that Spirited Away is included locally. If you’re in the U.S., you’re in luck.
It gets trickier from there. According to its website, HBO Max is available outside the U.S. in a handful of European, Caribbean, and South American nations. This includes Denmark, Venezuela, Finland, Croatia, the Bahamas, Honduras, and Spain.
But, when I tested HBO Max using NordVPN, I found a “page not found” error for Spirited Away in Denmark, Finland, and Poland. (In fact, Denmark appears to be in a hole not covered by either Netflix or HBOMax.)
- A large selection of television shows and movies, including some anime
- A free trial period may be available in your area
- Not available in all regions
- Spirited Away appears to be region-locked, even if HBO Max is available
- Cheapest option includes ads
- Fewer language options than Netflix
- $9.99/ month with ads
- $99.99/ year with ads
- $14.99/ month without ads
- $149.99/ year without ads
Language: English dubbed (Japanese with subtitles allegedly available; users have reported problems)
Spirited Away on HBO Max: https://play.hbomax.com/page/urn:hbo:page:GXrHanAQBunUYOAEAAAB3:type:feature?camp=googleHBOMAX
3. Apple TV/ Google Play
If you are in the U.S. or Canada, you can buy Spirited Away on Apple TV, or iTunes. You have to buy the movie, rather than rent it.
Apple is international, and Apple’s original content is available worldwide. But Spirited Away appears to be restricted in some areas. When I switched NordVPN to Japan, the American version of Apple TV’s Spirited Away webpage came up. But the Japanese Apple website didn’t offer the film.
The same thing happened with Great Britain. However, Jordanians can watch the film (accidentally typed “jo” instead of “jp” when testing).
In the past, I have downloaded Apple iTunes anime, and carried it with me on long-distance trips. It’s great for when you have to be in Airplane mode.
Pretty much everything that I said about Apple applies to Google Play/ Android.
- If you download it, you can take it offline
- Theoretically international (with restrictions)
- May not be available to purchase in all regions
- If you switch regions, online content could be region-locked
- More expensive to do it this way
- $16.99 on AppleTV
- $11.99 on Google Play
Language: English dubbed.
Spirited Away on Apple TV: https://tv.apple.com/us/movie/spirited-away/umc.cmc.20eiqqikjqp0aibugjcx9s41p?action=play
Spirited Away on Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/movies/details/Spirited_Away?id=x399jzc3XIs.P&hl=en_US&gl=US
In the United States, you can also watch Spirited Away on YouTube. No, I’m not suggesting that you watch a pirated version. It’s completely legal to buy it on the YouTube Movies & Shows channel.
Note that you are buying, rather than renting. Buying from YouTube is similar to buying from Apple iTunes, or Google Play. You can even download the film.
For the time being, this seems to be a U.S.-only offer. When I used NordVPN to “travel” outside the U.S. to Japan, the United Kingdom, France, South Korea, Australia, or even Canada, the video became unavailable.
- Relatively easy to find and purchase movies
- You can download the film for offline viewing
- Not available outside the U.S.
- English dub only, no Japanese version
- $11.99 for standard
- $14.99 for HD
Spirited Away on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkpMLAM0U7U&ab_channel=YouTubeMovies
Digital video store and streaming service Vudu also has Spirited Away. However, Vudu is only available in the United States.
Like Apple TV or YouTube, Vudu has no rental option for Spirited Away. You’ll also need to sign up for a free Vudu account. If you have FandangoNOW, or a Walmart account, you can sign in that way.
- Both English and Japanese audio available
- Vudu includes quite a few free movies and TV shows (Ranma 1/2 first season, Naruto first season, etc.)
- Free TV is typically only one season (of stuff available elsewhere)
- Not enough good stuff; too much Birdemic and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
- Free stuff comes with ads
- Do you really need another streaming service?
- $11.99 for standard
- $16.99 for HD
Languages: English, and Japanese with subtitles
Spirited Away on Vudu: https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/details/Spirited-Away-English-Language-/31778