Kiki's Delivery Service (film)

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USA DVD cover.

Kiki's Delivery Service is an animated movie about a young witch striking out on her own. It was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and released by Studio Ghibli on 1989-07-29. The film was co-produced by Tokuma Shoten, Yamato Transport, and the Nippon Television Network, and distributed by Toei.

The movie is based on a book of the same name. Kiki's Delivery Service was first dubbed into English in 1990 by a company called Streamline, but it didn't see much of a release. In 1998, it was re-dubbed by Disney and saw a proper released.

Personal

Having become a fan of Spirited Away, I decided to watch some of Miyazaki's other work. At first, I avoided Kiki's Delivery Service because it sounded to childish, but when I did finally get around to watching it, I discovered that it was an amazing adventure with beautiful artwork. I now watch the movie fairly regularly just to bask in the lovely feel-goodness of it. For about ten years, I had only ever watched the subtitled release, and then, in 2021, wanting to introduce the film to my 3-year-olds who couldn't yet read, I showed them the Disney English-dubbed version, and was severely disappointed with the dialogue.

Status

I do not own this movie, but I have seen it over a dozen times.

Review

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • Over all, the movie just makes you feel good. I love seeing films where the characters overcome problems and have satisfying results.
  • The background art is just exquisite.
  • The music is fantastic. Joe Hisaishi really captured the mood of the movie with his soundtracks, and the inclusion of old pop songs was a great idea.
  • One of the film's themes, how to balance traditional ideals with contemporary ideals is a time-honored struggle that the film deals with perfectly.

Bad

  • I never feel like Kiki is ever in any real danger other than her own failure. The city is just too perfect and polite. Even in the beginning when she can't find work, she always has the option to return home.
  • The movie has a bit of a lull before the finale.
  • Ursula's head is strangely misshapen.
  • The Disney English dub is pretty bad. The young characters sound too old, the old characters sound too young, and they changed a large amount of dialogue for cosmetic reasons: to better match the lip sync. Also, while I typically love Phil Hartman's work, he was a terrible choice for Jiji, and they severely altered Jiji's character by changing much of his dialogue and adding a lot of obnoxious remarks. This version also replaces Yumi Arai's music with new (and, in my opinion, inferior) songs.

Ugly

  • Nothing

Media

Cover Art

Posters

Screenshots

Fan Art

Videos

Trailer, Japan.
Trailer, USA.

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Kiki's Delivery Service
Japanese 魔女の宅急便 Majo no Takkyubin Witch's Delivery Service

Links

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