Kiki's Delivery Service
Kiki's Delivery Service (Japanese: 魔女の宅急便 Hepburn: Majo no Takkyūbin, "Witch's Delivery Service") is a 1989 Japanese animated coming-of-age fantasy film written, produced, and directed by Hayao Miyazaki as an adaptation of the 1985 novel of the same name by Eiko Kadono.
A 13-year-old Kiki moves to a seaside town with her talking cat, Jiji, to spend a year alone, in accordance with her village's tradition for witches in training. After learning to control her broomstick, Kiki sets up a flying courier service and soon becomes a fixture in the community. But when the insecure young witch begins questioning herself and loses her magic abilities, she must overcome her self-doubt to get her powers back.
Why It Rocks
- Kiki's character design is very appealing and cute.
- Great, emotional, and relatable coming of age story.
- Excellent animation for its time.
- While the story is mostly realistic, it does have fantasy aspects, such as witches, which helps to balance it out and help it appeal to more people.
- The coming of age story has a very somber tone, which only ads to its reliability.
- Kiki is a really likable character. She is definitely flawed in the beginning and has to mature in order to gain her confidence, but her childishness never gets to the point of being obnoxious or unlikable.
- Good voice acting in both sub and dub.
- The story is almost on par with Only Yesterday with how relatable that the themes and characters are, as opposed to the studio's more fantastical works such as Spirited Away.
- Just like My Neighbor Totoro Antagonist doesn't make an appearance here.
- The movie also has lots of good comedy to help balance the more somber tone with lighter moments.
- The movie contains tones of memorable quotes, both comedic and inspirational.
- The 2010 edit of the Disney dub suffers from bad sound mixing which makes the actors sound like they're talking through a filter.
- The Streamline Pictures dub, although faithful, isn't as polished as the Disney dub. Lisa Michelson makes Kiki sound way older than her age, and a very similar voice to Satsuki from the Streamline dub of My Neighbor Totoro.
Kiki's Delvery Service has a 97% critic rating and 88% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 4/5 on Letterboxd, a 7.9/10 on the International Movie Database, an 8.29/10 on MyAnimeList, 4/5 on AnimePlanet, and 83.86% on Kitsu. Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert gave the film a "two thumbs up" and Leonard Maltin described it as "a beautifully animated, kindhearted gem".
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