Kiki's Delivery Service

"Very Good"

Kiki's Delivery Service Review


Hayao Miyazaki scored a big kid-friendly hit with this story about a 13-year-old witch living on her own for the first time. (Yeah, tough love for pubescent Japanese witches!) Unfortunately, Kiki's Delivery Service lacks a lot of depth; though it's exquisitely sweet and endlessly watchable (and much better than Miyazaki's widly overrated Castle of Cagliostro),

Kiki (voiced in the U.S. version by Kirsten Dunst), in keeping with her people's tradition, jets off with broom and talking cat (Phil Hartman) to a random city in order to become the town witch. Unfortunately, Kiki hasn't really thought this through, and soon enough she finds that not only does she have no real marketable skills, she has no place to live and little money, too.

Soon enough, Kiki falls in with a neighborly baker (Edie McClurg), who lets her live in the attic and encourages her to start a delivery service. Misadventures follow, including Kiki's sudden loss of powers and a dramatic finale that includes a blimp.

And this is Kiki, a harmless and happy movie but a film that is wholly lacking the meaning of Castle in the Sky or Spirited Away. You can even hear it in Dunst's voice: she's a peppy little kid with all the soul of a cheerleader. Even Kiki's adversity is delivered in a chipper style which begs you to forget her problems and focus instead on having fun.

Nothing wrong with that, of course, and Kiki remains one of Miyazaki's most likeable heroes. Unfortunately, her adventure needs work to progress beyond a tepid fairy tale.

Aka Majo no takkyubin.



Kiki's Delivery Service

Facts and Figures

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 29th July 1989

Production compaines: Toei Company

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: Fuka Koshiba as Kiki, Machiko Ono as Osono, Rie Miyazawa as Kokiri, Michitaka Tsutsui as Okino, Ryohei Hirota as Tonbo, Minako Kotobuki as Jiji (voice), Hiroshi Yamamoto as Fukuo

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