Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) – Hayao Miyazaki

My time with Hayao Miyazaki continues thanks to DK Canada’s The Movie Book, following the recommendation of Spirited Away, and there on the What Else to Watch List were other Miyazaki titles to dive into and Kiki’s Delivery Service is next.

Shorter than the other entries so far, the story follows a young witch, Kiki. Accompanied by her cat, Jiji, the headstrong young woman wants to establish her aerial delivery service, as flying tends to be her only real skill.

She finds a home in a little seaside town, and ends up working in a bakery shop, while getting her delivery service off the ground (pun intended). She tries to fit in, make friends, and maybe find a boy who likes her.

She travels from one misadventure to another, helping out the town, even as Jiji supplies advice and warnings.

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It’s a fun little film, full of joy and humor, and it’s just a relaxing tale.  And she will have tons to overcome when she realizes she has lost her powers!

This one is a gentle, fun adventure that embraces the beauty of its stories and its characters as Kiki grows up, and realizes who she is going to be as she grows up, even as she is given the opportunity to save a new friend as a dirigible brushes against the edge of disaster.

Once again, Mayazaki has crafted a magical story, one that looks gorgeous as his attention to backgrounds, characters, and moments is on brilliant display. Kiki is a lot of fun, there’s a joie de vie about her that permeates her and the film.

This is yet another of Mayazki’s films that I knew about, had seen the artwork for since its release, but had never gotten around to seeing. It just never appealed to me, even while I could appreciate the craftmanship that went into the film.

Now, having settled in to actually view it, I found it fun, entertaining, and the purveyor of a strong message for its younger viewers. These things are important, as despite the fact that animation is for all ages, young viewers are the ones watching most of them.

In the end, we are given a great story, wonderful characters, and a world that seems like it would be a fantastic, and sunny place to spend one’s time.

If you’ve never seen a Mayaziki film, this is a fun one to check out. Or you can pick up a copy of DK Books’ The Movie Book and find a new to you classic to watch tonight!

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