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Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (1865), the films Spirited Away (2001, dir. Hayao Miyazaki), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006, dir. Guillermo Del Toro), and Coraline (2009, dir. Henry Selick) each use fantasy and fairy tale tropes to explore issues of female empowerment and sexuality. All three films feature young girls entering a new world of adult responsibilities and concerns, and they are guided on this journey by an older male character. More importantly, though, all three films use a number of tropes associated with fairy tales and fantasy literature to explore the challenges that girls are often confronted with on their journey to adulthood. A textual analysis of each film reveals that these tropes are being used to represent a number of significant challenges and opportunities for the female protagonists to come to know themselves via their emergent sexuality, and also allow them to navigate the tensions that exist between childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Thus, all three films use tropes associated with fantasy and children’s fairy tales to examine and explore how sexuality provides girls and young women with both a barrier and a doorway to growing up.