Kiki's Delivery Service resonates with me more than any other movie I've seen. Filled with inspiration, warmth and tenderness, it's perhaps the best example of a coming-of-age story I've seen in anime to date. While most Ghibli fans prefer the likes of Spirited Away or Mononoke Hime, and while I love and adore those films passionately, I personally feel that Kiki's Delivery Service is their best work, and Miyazaki's best directed film.
Everything about this movie just brings me a smile and always brings me up when I feel down. What makes this movie great is that it doesn't have huge ambition; it's not here to
tell you about the consequences of relying too much on technology, or destroying the natural earth, confronting the spirits of the forest. Of life. But it's simply the story of a young girl coming to terms with growing up and living in an entirely new town with total strangers. Transitioning from the comfort of her quiet country side hometown, to the hustle and bustle of an urban area.
Being independent for the first time is a terrifying experience for anyone, but it's also enlightening, as you can learn more about yourself and others than you thought. Kiki's Delivery Service showcases those ups and downs brilliantly. From an awkward introduction to baffled strangers on the streets, to starting her own business and befriending her clients, to meeting the owner of a Bakery who immediately shows a keen interest in the young girl, taking the role of a sort of mother figure to her. You meet all sorts of characters in this movie, all of them with an interesting or realistic characteristic. From a gruff looking, but gentle husband of the Bakery owner, to a boy who is extremely passionate about flight and aircrafts(even attempting to lodge a propeller onto his bike to try to get some air) who develops an immediate infatuation with Kiki, to a painter who takes comfort living in the middle of the woods, befriending the hordes of crows that live in it.
And then there is Kiki herself; at first glance she is cheerful, if a little naive. Honest, yet surprisingly old fashioned("It's not polite to ask a persons name without introducing yourself first!"). The thing I love about her character is that she's so many things, so many qualities that show how much of a varied, complex, but very realistic character she really is. She isn't a spoiled brat, she isn't selfish, she isn't annoying. She's simply a little girl with her own quirks and principles.
The film showcases the joys and pains of growing up finding your place in the world. At one point, she wearily laments the fact that she doesn't have pretty dresses, and she cannot afford that sparkling pair of red shoes that she gazes at through the window of a clothes shop. She sees her friend Tombo chatting and laughing with girls, sparking an immediate sense of jealousy from Kiki due to her insecurities.
She wants nice things, she wants to wear a nice dress, she wants to talk to boys and make friends. But cannot afford it, nor does she have the time. She simply desires a lot of what girls probably want at that age or slightly older. It's what makes her human and convincing as a character.
Even if you're not the same age group, or even gender, I feel that a lot of us have lived through moments where we feel so unsure of ourselves, feeling a sense of loneliness and isolation in the process.
And even though she goes through times of insecurity, depression and feeling like she's in a rut. She also befriends and meets many people that find her remarkably charming, sweet and sincere. She experiences friendships, success in her business and feeling accomplished.
The music, composed by the master himself, Joe Hisaishi. Is nothing short of perfect, the soundtrack has a very distinct European sound to it, also induces a large sense of nostalgia. From the early 60s pop sound of the opening, to the tender folk ballad of the ending. The soundtrack compliments nearly every scene in the movie to considerable effect. As expected!
The animation and designs are also incredibly top notch. It's crisp, it's clear(I just recently purchased the bluray version), it brilliantly showcases the varied areas and backgrounds. Everything is just straight up gorgeous. The town itself, Koriko, an ideal version of a pre-WWII Northern European city is one of my favorite designed places in fiction. To the hectic main-roads, the quiet alleyways and side areas you could casually stroll through, to the gorgeous beaches and scenery. It's very romantic and exhilarating. I would personally love to live in a city like this.
Despite what it does right, does it do anything wrong? Well, I wouldn't have minded if the movie went a bit more into the witch culture. In the story, when 12-13, a witch must leave her town and spend a year elsewhere, growing and learning, broadening their horizons essentially. But it's not really explained too much, but this is simply a nitpick as the film is more about Kiki and her experiences than all that.
There's a certain warmth to this film that makes it feel like you're revisiting an old friend. I find it difficult to find any major faults in this movie. I've grown up watching it on tv dozens of times, and later in life revisiting it, only to truly then realize how special this film is to me. I never said that I would be objective or impartial in this review, that would be pointless and a disservice to the film. Kiki's Delivery Service makes you passionate, or just really happy and relaxed, whichever works for you.
It's anime like this that proves to me yet again that animation can be a wonderful expression of art. If you've never seen this film, do yourself a favor and do so soon. Set up some free time during a quiet weekend afternoon and let yourself be enveloped in tenderness.
Any constructive feedback is appreciated on this review!
For my second Hayao Miyazaki movie, I’d say it was pretty good.
I liked the plot of Spirited Away much, much better though. Spirited Away had a more complex and interesting plot, while Kiki’s story was simpler. I guess the advantage of that is it’s easy to understand. As much as I like stories about witches living amongst normal humans, Kiki didn’t really act or live like a witch. She was more of a human who can fly and happens to own a cat that talks.
Since I brought up the subject of the talking cat, I’m glad I picked the English dub over the original
Japanese dub. I fell in love with the cast when I saw their interviews, so I decided to go with the Disney dub.Sure it became more Disney-ish, but it was actually pretty good. I like how they made Jiji talk more – I realized that in the Japanese dub Jiji wasn’t as talkative. Also, Phil Hartman made Jiji way funnier.
As expected of Hayao Miyazaki, the animation was fantastic – even if it was a 1989 movie. Since it’s from 1989, I’m assuming everything is hand drawn. The backgrounds were very detail, but it wasn’t overwhelming. It’s kind of looking at a fine, intricate watercolor painting that moves.
I did notice a lot of fan service throughout the movie. I know that seems weird, but there were numerous panty flashes from Kiki herself. I was beginning to think if that was intentional.
Disney edited the music, for sure. There were poppy, contemporary songs (both by Sydney Forest) during the beginning and the ending scenes of the movie. I can’t say I like the songs that much, but they were pretty catchy. I also noticed that a lot of the original BGM was omitted – I don’t know why that is. For the BGM I heard, I thought those tracks were very nice. They were easy to listen to and made the scenes especially peaceful and serene.
I’m probably gonna watch it again. It’s the kind of thing that you can watch any time and you’ll never get tired of it.
The first time I heard of this movie was when one of my friends mentioned it as one of the movies on his "to watch" list. I remember looking over the synopses and cover of the movie and wondering what the heck had gotten into him. It's a cartoon, for heaven's sake, how good could it be?
Just a few weeks ago I came down with a cold. It was no ordinary spring cold, but the great granddaddy of all spring colds. I was stuck in bed for around 3 days, during which time I re-acquainted myself with my inner child.
In other words, I watched Kiki's Delivery Service. Then something happened. While I had begun the movie with very low expectations, and a "childish" mentality, I found myself wholly captured by the movie.
Story: The plot is simple. Super simple. So simple, in fact, that an overtired anime newbie with a head cold can understand it. It begins when Kiki, a 13 year old witch makes the traditional journey away from home to begin her training in a new city for one year. Within the city, Kiki finds an occupation, along with many new friends who help her find place in the world. It is a cheerful and optimistic plot which is both uncommon and appreciated.
Animation: Like the storyline, the animation is simple. Since it was made in 1989, I wasn't expecting anything fantastic, but I was pleased to find that both the simplicity and the colors matched the tone of the story and the characters.
Sound: I think this is what really hooked me. The music isn't absolutely fantastic, but it fits right into the scenes where you'd want it to be. It is comfortable, and fun. The voices were also impressed me (I watched the English dub). Perhaps that is because I started the movie with such low expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the voices matched up with their characters quite nicely.
Characters: Ah, here is where the fun part begins. Kiki is truly the heroine in the story, and while she isn't saccharin sweet, she has a definitive moral standard. She has the added complexity of being a tween, and having to deal with new feelings of insecurity and affection. Her cautious and decidedly unadventurous cat, Jiji, is perhaps my favorite character, and his snide remarks had me laughing out loud every time. The rest of the characters are distinctive, and memorable (though maybe that is because this was my first anime movie. . .).
Overall: I thought it was a sweet, cheerful, "breath of fresh air" movie that I will probably watch more than once. It isn't on my list of top favorite movies (not that I have one...), but then again, it doesn't need to be. It is entertaining and sweet, and just the right thing to watch when you're feeling down - or when you've caught the great granddaddy of spring colds.
Having seen a great number of anime movies, many people are surprised when I tell them that out of them all, Majo no Takkyuubin (or 'Kiki's Delivery Service', as it is also commonly known by) is my favorite. There are multiple reasons why, but I won't let this become a monologue of favoritism being preached at you. Instead, I'm going to give it an objective, in-depth, review. But, keep in mind that, as this movie is actually rather simple and uncomplicated, "in-depth" (for this particular movie) is not very complicated at all.
First, a tiny bit of background...
Majo no Takkyuubin is loosely based off of
a children's novel written by Eiko Kadono and was ultimately directed by the world-famous Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki had previously put Sunao Katabuchi (now well known as the screenwriter for 'Black Lagoon' - a great anime that couldn't be more different in vibe from this lighthearted movie) in charge as director, but he eventually backed out. As such, Miyazaki took up the reins.
And now on to the review (number ratings for the individual segments, such as "Sound" and "Enjoyment", will be given at the end)...
It's an extremely simple story, and therein lies a major part of the film's strength. I won't reiterate anything that was in the synopsis that has already been so kindly provided. All you need to know aside from that - to go along with it - is that it takes place in an alternate, war-free Europe (in which witches exist) during what appears to be the 1940/50s.
The movie is well-paced, neither slow nor fast. It goes at a nice medium pace and gives you plenty of room to relax, soak up the world presented, and to enjoy the adventure Kiki goes on.
There are a few "coincidences" that happen in the story. They're necessary for the story to move forward since its only an hour and forty five minutes long. The nice thing is that they don't come across as sudden or completely unexpected, but rather as natural. Other than that, I can find no real flaws to nit-pick at concerning plot progression.
For a movie made right before the beginning of the 90's, the level of quality is very high. But, as this movie was made by Studio Ghibli (famous, in part, for extremely high production values) that isn't entirely surprising. Since Kiki is a witch and is in flight for a good portion of the movie, there is a lot of birds-eye view scenery. This is the part of the animation that stuck out the most to me (others may feel differently). Studio Ghibli never skimped on delivering absolutely gorgeous backgrounds that were original every time she took flight. No recycled animation here.
The in-town scenes were well-done too. People on the sidewalks, realistic looking buildings, lighting, etc. The scenes with lots of motion show no drops in quality either. Inspiration for the locations of the film (especially the buildings) came from Stockholm, the Swedish island of Gotland and Adelaide, South Australia. I've only ever seen Takkyubin in DVD quality, but can imagine how fantastic it must look in blue-ray. I'm going to need to look into obtaining an all-region Japanese blue-ray sometime soon.
The characters, of course, have the typical Ghibli art style. Not that this is a bad thing at all, as I personally am a fan of their style. If you've seen any other Ghibli film, then you know what to expect. If not, then just know that odds are you'll like it - it's very clean, high quality, and pleasing to the eye.
The greatest thing about the score in this movie is that, rather than the music influencing the scene, it almost seems to let the scene influence the music. Every track is fitting for the time in the film in which it plays and compliments, but does not overwhelm, the current happenings. This is a blessing if you're (like me) one who tacks importance on the music in a movie. And who could forget the songs that play once Kiki leaves home and at the end of the movie - both fitting, sweet, and very enjoyable.
The voice acting in the original Japanese is well done. Each voice fits each character very well, and all the voice actors did a great job at emoting. The English dub (namely the 1998 dub by Disney) is still good, but lacks some of the warmth and humor of the Japanese. Though, I have to give the best performance of that English version to Phil Hartman as Jiji (Kiki's talking black cat). Beware though, if you watch it in Japanese and then in the 1998 English version, you may or may not like Hartman's take on Jiji, as it's very different from the original.
There was a new English dub created for the 2010 American re-release, but I can't comment on it as I have not seen that version. From my experience, I suggest Japanese with English Subs for your first viewing of Takkyuubin - not because I'm some Japanese dub purist, but because it seems to be the most natural and unforced listening experience amongst the two I've seen. But, who knows, the 2010 English dub might be really good...
Part of the experience of this movie is meeting the supporting characters and being introduced to their various personalities and quirks, so I won't talk in detail about anyone other than our main two: Kiki and Jiji - just know that all the supporting characters are great.
First we have Kiki, our main character. Kiki is a fun-loving, polite, responsible, though still immature (in a cute way) thirteen year old girl/witch. She tries hard and is lots of fun to watch. She goes through a decent amount of character development over the course of the movie as she works hard and meets new people.
And we also have Jiji, the wisecracking, timid, talking black cat that is the pet of Kiki. He comes with her on her journey and has a little character development of his own.
As you can tell, I enjoyed Takkyuubin immensely. It's a movie that the entire family can watch: it's cute, charming, funny, adventurous and full of this feeling that can only be described as "wholesome". It's a lot like that feeling you get by living in a great, loving, small town where almost everyone knows everyone and there's barely any tension (if you've ever lived in a small town like that). It's hard to describe.
Overall, it's a fantastic achievement in film, though there's no guarantee that you'll like it, because tastes differ. But if you're the kind of person that likes calm shows and movies, slice-of-life, adventure, cute stories or any combination of those four, chances are that this is something you'll really enjoy and be able to immerse yourself in. Or, if your looking for something as a pleasant, fun-filled, breather from more intense anime movies or series, 'Majo no Takkyuubin' will do you fine.
For Kiki, a young witch-in-training, the time has come to spend a year away from home. During this time, she is to mature as a person and develop into a full witch. Accompanied by her talking black cat, Jiji, Kiki will move into a new town where she will make new friends, start her own business, and even develop her first love interest. But most importantly, Kiki will come to truly understand herself and the magic that comes from within.
Kiki's Delivery Service is a very sweet story and is presented in typical Studio Ghibli fashion. Animation is detailed and beautiful, and the soundtrack is enjoyable
and fits well with the mood of the film. Voice actors are well chosen and professional; in the English version viewers should be pleased to find the lead role of Kiki played by Kirsten Dunst. As for storyline, there isn't much that can be said: the film sets out to provide a cute story about a witch coming of age, and it is successful. If you're in the mood for something like that, you will be satisfied.
Still, when I watched this with a friend that loves stuff like this, even she was somewhat let down in the end. Kiki's Delivery Service is so sweet that it's drab. Throughout the film both of us kept asking, 'what's the plot?' And the fact of the matter is, nothing really happens in the story. Now of course a film doesn't need to have a distinctive plot to be good, but even in other character-centered Ghibli films like "My Neighbor Totoro" there is something unique that makes the movie stand out. Kiki's Delivery Service simply isn't unique, doesn't have much of a plot, and cannot be carried by its characters alone. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the film: upon finishing I didn't feel like I'd wasted my time. But at the very least, I recommend that you spend your valuable time watching the other Miyazaki films first.
Overall Score: B
For snapshots and a high quality download visit my blog at http://animefiend.blogspot.com
This will be my first 'review'. So I hope this is somewhat helpful.
This may not be the most famous movie of the Studio Ghibli collection, however Kiki's Delivery Service is a brilliant film in it's own right and in my opinion is often over shadowed and under appreciated because of its more famous cousins such as Spirited Away.
Kiki's Delivery Service has a very simple storyline. Based off a book of the same name. Following the life of the young witch Kiki and her cat Jijii, we follow her adventures as she goes out into the world to make a life for herself as a
witch in the modern world where witches are not as commonly known as they once were, with her only real witches skill being her ability to fly on a broom. This as the title suggests brings her to create a delivery service in which she uses her flying skills to help people deliver various things.
The book for the most part just followed her various adventures on her deliveries from start to finish with no real focus on any particular character other than Kiki and Jiji, however the film adaptation has taken a few of these adventures and expanded upon them, as well as developed the characters associated with these to create a slightly deeper and more enjoyable film.
And well that is about it, we simply see how she struggles to find a place in a new town and make a life for herself and follow as she struggles through various situations and problems, meeting friends along the way. Very simple compared to many other Studio Ghibli titles but this is not a bad thing.
I feel the appeal of this movie is its simplicity and its just overall feel. Kiki's Delivery Service is a very light hearted movie that will make you smile throughout.
The art as always with Studio Ghibli is fantastic as is the music and sound and the characters are appealing and well developed. I think this movie is a good example of showing that you don't need the most complex story for something to be enjoyable.
I have watched both the subtitled Japanese and English dubbed versions and both are well done. Disney for the most part have done well with the dubbing, although there is some controversy to some edits from the original to the dub, which I won't go into. However I feel they do not really effect the overall story and personally prefer the way the dub comes across in the end.
So if you like a story that is light hearted and sweet with a simple but effective story I would highly recommend this movie. If you however want a movie with a more deep or complex story then perhaps try else ware.
"Kiki's Delivery Service" is a typically fun to watch family anime from Studio Ghibli. Though it's instilled with imagination like their other productions, it isn't nearly as outlandishness as the likes of "Spirited Away" and "Princess Mononoke". This is probably due to the unusual lack of whacky character designs like Totoro and 90% of the characters in "Spirited Away", however it doesn't prevent the characters that are in "Kiki's Delivery Service" from having that "Ghibli charm". It's just as well, as "Kiki's Delivery Service" more about the characters than some complicated plot. The idea itself is simple enough - a young witch named Kiki has
reached the age where she must venture out into the big wide world to fend for herself - but it's the execution that makes it count, and "Kiki's Delivery Service" certainly succeeds in being heart-warming and delightfully charming.
The artwork in "Kiki's Delivery Service" looks dated but is still of passable quality that's easy on the eye. The real strength on the technical side though, comes from the fantastic music found in the movie. The director Miyazaki has a tendency to pick great music to go with his movies, and musically this has got to be one of his finest, kicking off with a bouncy and infectiously catchy theme that caught my attention right away and put me in a great mood to watch the anime in.
There's not much to complain about. One thing the comes to mind is that "Kiki's Delivery Service" ends rather abruptly, though the epilogue after the ending credits does repair this to some extent.
As with most of Miyazaki's films, "Kiki's Delivery Service" is not really my type of thing, but I did enjoy it nevertheless. It has to be said though, that this isn't one of his more memorable movies, as I saw this years ago and can't really remember much about it at all. It's missing that spark provided by, say, the adorable cuteness of "My Neighbour Totoro" or the emotional poignancy of "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds".
I love Studio Ghibli. They make films that generally range from good to excellent and excel at art and music. Kiki's Delivery Service is probably the type of film they're best at. It has a simple story with some nice themes and a small cast of important characters who get some development but it keeps the focus on one or two of them. As a result they're able to really develop those few focus characters very well. It isn't my favourite Studio Ghibli film but it's still pretty impressive.
The story follows a young witch named Kiki who leaves home to train and find her
talent as a rite of passage. She ends up in a large city by the ocean where she encounters some trouble but gets through it with the help of many kind people. Since her special talent is flying she decides to start a delivery service. It's a pretty standard coming of age story about a young girl who leaves home to find her place in the world. The only real twist is that the girl in this case is a witch. Having a simple story isn't necessarily a bad thing and Kiki's Delivery Service is done very well. The story has a very good progression and the themes are explored pretty thoroughly. It has an open ending, but that works to its advantage since the story is more relatable as a result. It honestly might be the best coming of age movie I've ever seen. If I had to come up with a complaint about the story it would be that a lot of really convenient events happen and it starts to stretch verisimilitude really thin. But, honestly, that works perfectly with the movie's optimistic atmosphere.
The characters are where it really excels. They're vibrant and interesting but they're also flawed. A few of the characters don't really experience development, but they're still written as three dimensional characters. Even the old dog who shows up in about five minutes worth of scenes is an interesting character and that really takes talent.
The art is amazing. The backgrounds, characters and overall atmosphere are all done in Studio Ghibli's distinctive style It immerses you in the world which serves to make the film very engaging. The nature scenes help set the mood and, unlike some Studio Ghibli films, they don't drag on so long that they take away from the plot. I'm looking at you, Only Yesterday.
The voice acting is great. I especially enjoyed Takayama Minami's performance. She voices both Kiki and Ursula, and she does it so well that I only noticed because of the credits. The music is also very good and atmospheric.
I'm going to give Kiki's Delivery Service a yuri factor of 3. Ursula and Kiki share some really homoerotic moments, Ursula viewing Kiki as her muse is especially homoerotic, but it never really goes anywhere beyond that. Which is probably a good thing since Studio Ghibli doesn't tend to write romance very well.
My final rating for Kiki's Delivery Service is a 9/10. If you're looking for a fun, simple movie it's excellent and you'll probably enjoy watching it thoroughly. The combination of excellent visuals, interesting characters and great story all contribute to this.
Simple, lovable, down to earth, and undeniably, charming.
Mainly focused entirely on childhood and growing up. With that coming of age recipe, Hayao Miyazaki brought us another work after Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service. A lovely coming-of-age tale of girlhood adapted from a novel by the same name, it follows a young, initially inept witch who flies on her broom away from her home to try to find herself in a completely unfamiliar city for a year—as all witches must at the age of 13. Without adding up some fantasy and magic element on his movie, it is not Hayao Miyazaki's style after all, and this movie
is no exception. A work ostensibly for children which genuinely is magical but roots its sense of the magical firmly in the practicalities and responsibilities of everyday life. A coming of age tale it is.
Kiki's Delivery Service follows up a young witch, Kiki who leaves her family to make her way in the big city. A brief synopsis, Kiki, a 13 years old girl is obliged to spent a year away from home as a training to be a better witch. From the narrative, it is a common thing for all witches to train for a year. With her talking-cat friend, Jiji and some of her belongings, she departed from her home by flying with her mother's broomstick seeking for her fortune at another place for a year. But, it was not a best night for her. Encountered a heavy storm on her way, she decided to drop in a moving train and slept without knowing where she was heading ahead. Morning come, the sun went up and ready to bring the rays of light as what it does everyday. Kiki woke up and saw a coastal town ahead of her and already fell in love from her first sight of it. Made up her mind, she finally chose that port city as her witch-training location. Adventure, independence, experience, and hardship of youth were awaiting ahead her in Koriko. Leaving her parents, friends, magical things and childhood home. And the journey begins.
The premise readily establishes the fact that there are fantasy elements such as magic and witches present in the world of Kiki’s. However, magic in the context of Kiki’s is set against the backdrop of a very realistic world that is currently undergoing industrialization and modernization, evident from the numerous smog producing factories that Kiki sees at the beginning of her journey. In this world, witches and magic, while readily accepted by most people, are seen as a rarity and is presented as a dying tradition. It is made clear by various characters in the movie that witches are “not something you see every day” and magic is something that is “old-fashioned”. Here, magic and witches can be seen as being symbolic of the traditional and the old ways and this is further emphasized by the liminal setting.
Miyazaki's work which always has a strong female lead. The representations of girls and women that seemed real and attainable, yet mythic all the same. Here were female characters who were vulnerable and independent, who defied gender norms in the way they looked and behaved. The driving force of the movie is Kiki, who is one of the best character in a Studio Ghibli movie in my opinion. "Strong” female characters don’t necessarily make “great” female characters, and what makes Kiki so special is that she’s Miyazaki’s purest heroine, with all the flourishes and faults that come with that distinction. Leaving the home to a completely unfamiliar city in order to be a better witch, trying to fit into a new world as an outsider, as well as a story of self-acceptance rather than a search for inauthentic popularity.
Another aspect from this movie which is similar to another Miyazaki movies are the characters that seemed more real. Characters relationship, family issues, and even daily activities, are realistically portrayed. The interactions between Kiki with another characters like Osono, a bakery owner, Tombo, a young lad who has interests at Kiki, or even Ursula, an independent woman who lives in forest, helps Kiki to become who she is but in a more realistic way. Doing laundry, delivery or looking after shop, not to advance the movie’s plot, but to add a sense of realism. The kind that makes fictional people feel less like tropes and more like human beings. Kiki's Delivery Service portrayed this sense of realism in the most common way how human lives their daily life. A city full of busy people, a realistic portrayal of a shop, and also the relationships among the characters here. This sense of humanity is so often missing from other animated portrayals of characters, which made Kiki's Delivery Service even more meaningful.
In Kiki's Delivery Service, we also have a true return of Miyazaki's obsessions with flight which in other movies of him is mostly used to represent escapism and the limitless possibilities. Flight in Kiki’s, however, is more than just that. Aside being a magical power and thus, symbolic of tradition, flight is also noted to be Kiki’s sole talent as mentioned by herself, “I have one skill… Flying.” This would signify that the power of flight is closely related to her identity and her self-confidence.
The artwork is traditional Miyazaki.In Kiki, the art style is more cartoon-ish, but didn't leave the essence of Ghibli's art : naturalistic, whimscal, and European. The ocean has been so inviting, and neither has a small city, with bakeries and old ladies. Illustrating European housing and landscape in Kiki's Delivery Service, gives us a visual feast that does nothing but charm. As I stated before, Kiki's Delivery Service is very much of a story about a girl in searching of self identity on her own. The European style extracts the Japaneseness of Kiki (in term of tradionalistic), making her a cute version of the iconic European witch. Anime may depict fictional worlds, but at its core it must have a certain realism. And it is always a quality that I admired from Ghibli (Miyazaki) on all of their movies without exception. Through masterful animation and attention to detail, Studio Ghibli consistently crafts immersive, unique movies that strike a difficult balance between fantasy and reality. Think about the word animate—“to bring to life.” How do the characters feel? Are they suppressing something? Are they cocky? Sheepish? Terrified? Embarrassed? Determined? That's what makes Ghibli's animation is so special.
Miyazaki chooses the fluidity of the Japanese for a more traditional art style when it comes to Kiki. But he retains something that very much a part of his movies, and that's the continued collaboration with Joe Hisaishi. We get another masterfully composed score that shows us that animated movies are just as good with a great narrative and stellar music, as it would be with musical numbers and a predictable outcome. Never have we been left wanting in terms of musical prowess when it comes to Hisaishi, and hopefully we never will.
Being down to earth, the movie manages to create genuine moments of heart. With the interplay between Tombo and Kiki, and Osono and Kiki, and even Jiji and Osono's husband, the movie manages to make magic on celluloid. I get humor, charm, and emotion that isn't often felt through the animation medium. I personally really enjoyed this movie, especially as a slice of life fan myself. Everything is so nice, no mean old hags, a beautiful and picturesque town, realistic, and simple while still being meaningful . With the unbroken theme of maturity, and the memorable style, Kiki's Delivery Service is a rarity in animation. It continues to be a movie for children and adults alike, and is well worth multiple viewings. It’s a movie about hope and believing in one’s talent and resourcefulness and finding one’s niche and inspiration in life. It may not be as powerful and involved as other Miyazaki movies but in its own way it’s a thoughtful and charming movie.
Ive seen other movies from ghibli studios and i really have no reason as to why this one never caught my eye, but in the end it was not at all dull as i was expecting it to be and managed to keep itself afloat in my amusement.
(just want the readers to know as well that this was not at all a bad score and one of the key reasons which was always kept in mind while this review was written was the fact this was perhaps one of the directors' [Hayao Miyazaki] earlier movies in which the styles of how these shows were made
will never be as complicated, and in-depth as the ones today. this has to be taken in consideration as well.)
the story itself was simple and gave off an aura of subtlety and a slight hint of adventure in it. I cant really say anything much about the artwork other than it is simple and not glamorous and which is something i like every now and then to feel nostalgia. :)
to wrap this up i will just say. this movie was not at all bad in any way, shape or, form what-so-ever, but for it to achieve the point of enjoyable, it didn't quite make it, so in the end it stays even with a five with feelings of tolerable, okay feeling. :)
Majo no Takkyuubin, aka Kiki's Delivery service, is one of the first films by Hayao Miyazaki and studio Ghibli. When the 13 years old witch, Kiki, chose to strictly adhere to the rule that a witch must spend one year away from her family, she packs her things; rides her broom stick with her familiar, a black cat; and searches for a new city.
The city she chooses, is a beautiful, maritime one, with an Italian stylization. During her stay, she must utilize her arcane talents in order to provide for herself. While her initial reception is cold, Kiki
is infatuated with the city and decides to stay.
We, the audience, quickly become infatuated with the city as well; the backgrounds look spectacular and the direction manages to depict accurately the vibrant Mediterranean setting. I know it is a matter of taste, but I love the design of the early Miyazaki films and still consider them the pinnacle of the medium.
And that is the point where the praise stops. For a film that's about a magic wielder it is not magical at all, like for example its predecessor, Tonari no Totoro (1988), was. The film's main theme are the troubles of a girl stepping on the threshold from childhood to adolescence. For instance no focus is given to how kiki studies or trains for her craft, but at two scenes we see her disappointment with her plain black robes.
As the film progresses it is apparent that this is a kid's movie; the scenario is simplistic and the world's rules unestablished. The film doesn't hide that fact, and it is maybe unfair to criticize it strictly, maybe I am just spoiled by the quality Ghibli and Pixar films, but it just is not as good as the competition.
While it fails to transcend its genre like Mimi wo Sumaseba (1995), or the Incredibles (2004), it is still a very cute family film, that will resonate especially well with young girls. Know your expectations and enjoy the spirited animation. 6.0/10.
In a way, I consider this film perfection. The qualities I mainly appreciate about Hayao Miyazaki's works are focused on the most and to the highest level here.
Together with 'Totoro' and 'Ponyo', it's one of the films best-suited for children, even very young ones, and it's the film I most recommend to parents to watch with their children. That being said, I first watched it when I was 20 years old, and enjoyed it immensely from the first second to the last, so it's not at all less suitable for adults than for children, unless you are the kind of person who absolutely needs
conflict and fights in fiction.
This review focuses on how I see 'Majo no Takkyuubin' relative to Hayao Miyazaki's other work and anime in general, and while I try to not make overly specific statements, there might be minor spoilers somewhere. So if you haven't seen all of his films yet, you might want to skip this review.
Ever since before the creation of Studio Ghibli, core themes of Hayao Miyazaki's work have been highlighting the senselessness of humanity's egoistic struggle and having main characters stray very far from this tendency, acting from a brighter vision of kindness and understanding for all sides.
In my interpretation, these are two different feelings that Miyazaki expresses within his work: despair and hope. He tries very hard to balance them well, and out of the intention to not have unrealistically sweet and hopeful endings, there is usually some kind of bittersweet and ambivalent ending.
In many of Miyazaki's films, for example 'Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä' and 'Mononoke Hime', the protagonists Nausicaä and Ashitaka often had to fight in order to act according to their goals and visions. However, they were not warriors at heart, but problem-solvers wanting to help others, and fighting was something they avoided whenever possible and reasonable.
In 'Majo no Takkyuubin', the element of fighting and struggle against one another is barely present, which leaves a lot of time to focus on the element of hope and a vision of a brighter future.
More than anything else, Kiki is hopeful. For her, her year spent working by herself is not a chore, but an opportunity that she feels enthusiastic and excited about. Yet, this positivity is not exaggerated to the point of feeling unrealistic, as shows within the many scenes in which her high hopes are disappointed by the people and the world around her.
These scenes make Kiki a very believable protagonist that is easy to identify with, which is apparently no easy feat – in most non-Miyazaki animes, I find nearly all the characters unrealistic and can't find myself empathizing with them.
A very beautiful point is that a couple of times, when Kiki feels disappointed and lost, it's the act of seeing others in need and helping them without a second thought that creates new, fulfilling opportunities for herself.
Some other people recognize her helpful, kind nature and cherish her for that, which creates very warm interactions that never feel forced, but very natural and life-like.
Even that is only a tendency though, and the examples where others react to Kiki's kindness in a less warm way give a valuable contrast as they enrich Kiki's character by showing how she reacts to that emotionally.
'Majo no Takkyuubin' is, to me, primarily a film about learning by doing. Learning to embrace yourself and your talents within a world that largely runs on a different clock.
Learning to live in the moment and to move out of your comfort zone in little steps.
Learning how to interact with others in a kind, but not self-sacrificing way, and recognizing people for who they are.
'Majo no Takkyuubin' does what it aims to do with perfection, in my eyes more so than any other anime I have seen. The visuals are masterful and astounding, and the soundtrack not only blends in perfectly, but also adds to a very distinct atmosphere that at times can be described as a sort of blissful melancholy.
The only thing holding me back from giving a perfect overall score is that the film doesn't dare to move into any controversial or more difficult subjects, which would have made it more of a challenge to reach perfection in a holistic way.
I reserve perfect scores for works of art that accomplish just that, bringing concepts that lie within the dark, unexplored or taboo areas into the light in an integrative new story, and do so in the highest form without any flaws.
For a film that doesn't aim there and just wants to present a positive, beautiful story that you can take lessons from (if you want to) or simply enjoy for what it is, regardless of age, 'Majo no Takkyuubin' is as good as it gets.
This is probably one of my favourite studio ghibli films that I have seen.
It's sweet, magical and has some kind of charm to it.
The story is lovely as its a girl training to be a witch however she decides to do deliveries as she can fly around on her broom stick which is kinda cool!!
I think I enjoyed it because its always nice to watch an original anime film that has a strange story line to it.
The art is amazing!
Some of the characters remind me of 'sabrina the teenage witch' e.g. black talking cat but still really cool characters.
Overall I would say this film is
worth watching as it's wonderful and it really gets you in the mood ;)
Kiki's Delivery Service is without a doubt a masterpiece.You don't need me to explain why. Just uttering the name "Hayao Miyazaki" should be enough to convince you to check this fantastic movie out. But in case you're some kind of freak who has no idea who I'm talking about, (just kidding :P) Hayao Miyazaki is basically the Walt Disney of anime, with almost all of his releases being critically acclaimed. If you're still not convinced, I guess I better explain what makes this movie so wonderful.
First of all there's the story. Kiki is a witch in training who leaves her home for a year to
study magic. She moves into a town known as Koriko and eventually decides to set up her own delivery service, since delivering packages on a flying broomstick is pretty convenient.
That's only the plot in a nutshell, mind you. The story in this movie is a LOT deeper than you'd expect in a movie with such a light-hearted concept. Although now that I think about it, I guess I'm only calling it that because of how different it is from your typical movie plot. Kiki's Delivery Service has no main villain who's trying to stop Kiki.
That's not to say there's no conflict however. I'm sure you remember the main conflicts a work can have from English class. In this movie, the main antagonist is Kiki herself. Over the course of the movie, you learn pretty much everything there is to know about Kiki. Her goals, her fears, her insecurities.
I don't think I'm doing a very good job explaining it to be honest. All else I'm going to say is that the story in this movie is very heartwarming and sweet.
Kiki's Delivery Service nails the characters as well. Kiki is a very sweet girl. She's helpful and friendly, and definitely the kind of person who would bring a smile to your face. She also has her fair share of doubts about herself and her abilities as a witch.
Kiki's not the only character though. There's also Jiji, her talking pet cat, who basically serves as the comedic relief in the movie. His dry, sarcastic humor and grumpy persona contrasts Kiki quite well. Then there's Tombo, a boy fascinated by flght and by extension Kiki. Even though Kiki initially takes his advances as attempts to bully her, she eventually warms up to him.
Those are the three most noteworthy characters in the movie, but there's still a bunch more characters. They don't really have important roles but they are certainly good characters. You get an insight on pretty much every character that has a speaking role in this movie, even ones that are only in it for a few minutes or so.
What I especially love is how realistic everyone in this movie is. Nobody has any over exaggerated personality traits. Kiki doesn't run around acting all moe squealing things like "UGUUU~ ♥," Tombo isn't some disgusting pervert, and their first meeting didn't involve looking up her panties. I can easily imagine running into any of these characters in real life.
Then there's the art and HOLY CRAP! From the moment I laid eyes on Kiki's Delivery Service, I was blown away by the amount of detail that was put into it. The animation is simply amazing. Koriko is a beautiful city that's full of life. Every single person you see in this city is unique, and they're not animated any less than Kiki is. People bump into each other and say "Excuse me," The streets are full of cars, and there's always someone moving around in the background. You'd really have to watch this movie to get what I'm saying. In this movie, the little things really bring it to life.
The sound is another thing that Kiki's Delivery Service aces. The soundtrack is beautiful. The song that sticks out in my mind the most is "Umi no Mieru Machi" which plays when Kiki first flies into the town of Koriko. This song fits perfectly with the shots of the villager's daily lives.
Then there's also the main theme songs. I think it would be best to point out that this is where Disney started to pull a little 4Kids-ing. In the original English dub, the songs "Rouge no Dengon" and "Yasashisa ni Tsutsumareta nara" are replaced by "Soaring" and "I'm Gonna Fly" by Sydney Forest respectively. Don't worry though, all of the changes in the English dub were approved by Miyazaki, and the DVD rerelease uses the original Japanese songs. Personally, I like the English songs better though. I feel like they relate to the theme of the movie a bit better.
The voice work is excellent. The English dub features the voice work of Kirsten Dunst and the late Phil Hartman and they do a great job. I haven't really listen to the Japanese audio much, but I'm going to be a crazy person and say I prefer the dub because of how they made Jiji a little snarkier.
Overall, Kiki's Delivery Service is quite possibly one of the best anime movies of all time. It nails pretty much every aspect that makes a movie good perfectly. I don't know what kind of cynical jerk could possibly dislike this movie. If you haven't seen it, go watch it. RIGHT NOW!
literally just finished watching five minutes ago, and feel privileged to know that I have just beheld a true classic. The artwork is sublime, the story endearing and heart warming and the sheer beauty just uplifting and inspiring.
Kiki's delivery service is a beautifully written and animated story about the young witch kiki and her pre-determined adventure of seft improvment.
Story -8- The story is a bubbly fun but also progressive and heart grabbing fiction which puts a different sort of spin on the traditional conception of witches. In this representation witches are a force of good that although is not a new idea, is done in a way i have not seen before. But in many ways the fact that kiki is a witch is not as important as her being a girl, as this anime raises concepts of maturity about
what it means to grow up. That said it is a innocent tale that will leave you thinking "awww" and can be enjoyed by all the family. The only reason it didnt get a 10 is that i cant really give a movie intended for a younger audiance a 10,(too many restrictions) but its as close as one will ever get.
Art -10- This is a beautifull anime, infact calling it an anime (or cartoon) is (in my eyes) downgrading its status as a peice of art, as you see it is not just telling a story, its also showing you a painting. In all my life i have not seen anything that tells a story in such detail and in such traditional hand drawn glory (as its from the 1970's before p.c. editing). If you are unsure of wether the story is for you, then i would surggest you watch this simply for the entertainment value of the art work.
Sound -8- It wasnt really my cup of tea to be honest, but it fits the story well. It also sets the mood for alot of kiki's adventures and hardships, so in terms of the background sound, it is very good. Ide also like to say on the note of sound that this is possibly one of the only anime movies/series that enjoys a good english dub. I am not afraid to say i enjoyed both the sub and dub vertions.
**note** - this is just my subjective oppinion many of you might enjoy the music in this film more more.
Characters -9- The characters in this movie are also a great feet, especially based on that its only feture length. Both the main characters get development in this film, but they still keep all the charms and features which made me love them in the first place. The supporting main characters are also quite effective in the film, and at least i hope alot of younger boys and girls can associate with them and their lifes. Although Kiki is a lovely character, i think in some ways her side-kick Jiji is the charcter that most impressed me, as he is able to produce alot of very intresting plot lines without lsoing his nature as a cat or Kiki's best friend.
Enjoyment -9- You cant help but enjoy and love this film, nomatter your age or gender. In my oppinion it is a great film to bring people together and remeber the simple innocent pleasures in life.
Overall -9- As i have said above, i decided not to give this a 10 on the grounds on that it feels too simple, but as far as simple films go this is the best. Just sit back relax and enjoy, you can think about it as little or as much as you like but will still bask in its gentle aura of innocence and bubbly fun.
Very rarely does an anime truly deserve a perfect 10. And yet, for the classic works of Hayao Miyazaki, the opposite is true. A 10 simply doesn't do them justice.
It seems almost pointless to review an old Studio Ghibli film from Miyazakis prime, because it seems like the movie should need no introduction. It's from Miyazaki. It's from 1980-2000. Does anything really need to be said here? Yes, it does, because after reading many of the reviews I feel too many don't give Kiki the respect her movie deserves.
The truth is, Miyazaki doesn't create anime. Miyazaki creates...films by Hayao Miyazaki. His own style,
his own way, and it stands in a league of its own above all the rest. This is the kind of legendary talent that only appears once per generation, that most of us can only look up to and dream of. His method can be summed up in one word: "Love." Love for every detail. Love for the characters. Love for the world. Love for the soul. Miyazaki pours his unmatched spiritual tenacity into every single frame, which gave him a reputation in the anime industry of being one of the hardest directors to work with as his standards are sky high. What an ordinary director would consider amazing, Miyazaki considers as "Still not good enough!". But the pain and sweat that goes on in Studio Ghibli pays off.
The result of their hard work is a show that is not just "good", but one that legitimately places the viewer into a world that feels alive. Watching Kiki fly through the air, the animation is so pristine and the details so perfect, you will feel as though you are actually there with her. Flying by her side. Washed away into an amazing parallel world where magic is real and anything is possible. Miyazaki then uses this mastery of animation to take the audience on a journey through a story that is actually quite basic: Coming out of our shell and finding our place in the world. It's such a simple idea, and yet Majo no Takkyuubin does it in a way that is so well done that anyone can watch it and feel as though the story was made just for them. Kiki may be a witch, and most of us at least are not. And yet it's easy to see yourself in her shoes, because what she goes through is something we have all been through. Life is never as easy as we think it is, and making your mark in the world is tough. Reality doesn't always meet our expectations, and yet here we all are. Still alive and moving forward.
Majo no Takkyuubin is one of Miyazakis best works. Brilliant and profound, it deserves its place as an animation classic in an era that birthed animation as a viable story telling medium. Thousands of years into the future when children are learning about art history they will open their holographic textbooks and may very well just see Kikis smile glancing back at them. That's how important this movie is to the anime industry.
Wow. From the opening moments to the end credits and on, this movie is utterly charming. The animation is stellar, the voice acting is perfect, and the overall atmosphere of the piece is comfy and makes me want to watch it while bundled up in a blanket in front of a fire. The story is relaxing as well, with no stakes (until the end), just the story of a young witch trying to find her place in a new city. This is my first Studio Ghibli film, so if they're all (to some degree) like this, I'm prepared to watch a lot more of them.
Since my first review was shit i decided i'd re-review it
I watched this film before watching Pixar's Cars.
First of all, the story, is what you'd call, coming-of-age. A witch-in-training goes to the big city to become a fully-fledged witch like the rest of her family. It's just like any other coming of age story e.g Wonder, Boyhood, etc for other live action films. Kiki's Delivery Service is all about friendship, forgiveness, generosity and the disaster. The friendship part is for making friends at a new town. The forgiveness is for giving someone you hate the benefit of the doubt and generosity is for helping one
another and the disaster part is for losing something valuable. It's something for a family to enjoy, to embrace and gives them a list of lessons to learn from this movie, but which this isn't my type.
The art is just like every other Ghibli movie's art, small eyes, a large nose and a normal drawn nose. But these characters are drawn more brighter, their colour is more enhanced with light skin. The characters and the artwork is well-drawn, for an old movie.
Since i watched the dubbed version of the movie on TV, i should easily review the actors into one sentence. Unexpected. When people watch dubs, their voices are very horrible and the acting is just off key, we get confused cause we don't know what on earth they're saying. Technically, dubs are prone to being more hard to understand than subs. But since this is an old dub, they might've put a lot of money into this. Getting a talented cast like those you've seen in anime like Cowboy Bebop or Fullmetal Alchemist in which they have talented dub casts is hard work, especailly for a film. These voices match the characters, their personalities and their appearance. Kiki's voice is like a middle aged girl. Tombo's voice sounds like a random schoolboy and his personality makes you think of a pervert. Kiki and Jiji is just like Sailor Moon and Luna. Kiki likes to ignore Jiji during most of the film, as much as Usagi ignoring Luna in the beginning of Sailor Moon.
The characters, aren't how i imagined. Tombo, is one of the characters of the movie. Kiki's personality, as we may think at the start is cold-hearted, care-free. Tombo you may think of him as perverted. Jiji, i think of an ignored character who's mainly left out for the entirety of the movie. Not very supporting, and you know why? Cause Kiki never took his advice, which is why she lost her powers, due to her cold personality. Which at that point, i started to dislike the personality a lot. But as the movie progresses, her personality cools down. Just like a romantic story, Kiki and Tombo at first start as enemies, but they become allies at the end. I personally like this movie cause of the lessons these characters teach you, some valuable lessons. Kiki, is just, what my favourite word for her is, spiritual.
I still enjoyed this movie, even though the hand full amount of flaws that still buzzed around the movie. I watched this on TV, and dubbed. I think i should review the first Cars movie next.
Kiki's Delivery Service has to be my favorite anime movie of all time!
I love the art style and how old fashioned it looks! It's very different towards what I would see today in anime art styles. I found it to be very unique and original since this is Studio Ghibli.
The soundtrack and the theme songs were absolutely fantastic! I loved the way Studio Ghibli made their music for their anime movies. It brings the whole movie together. Without the soundtrack, it wouldn't make it watchable!
The story line was beautiful because it never made any scene or part of the movie dragging or boring at all.
It just made it much more interesting to watch the rest of the movie.
The characters in the story were so heart warming and amazingly picked out! I loved every single character in the movie because of their personalities.
I couldn't find anything that I disliked about Kiki's Delivery Service but of course this is just my opinion!
Overall, I enjoyed this anime movie and everything that it brought to me!