This is a review on the film “Kiki’s Delivery Service”. This Is an animated Japanese film directed and produced by Hayao Miyazaki in 1989. It is also made by “Studio Ghibli” which, for any fan of the other films in this studio collection, will be happily content with this film as well as others. The film is loosely based on a novel series “Novel series of the same name” by Eiko Kadono which hit stores in 1985. The film has three versions of it; Japanese (original), English (dubbed) and then the last version made alongside with Walt Disney in the English language. Depending on which film you want to watch there is a choice. I have only seen the Disney version, which is the version I am writing about.
It is based on a 13 year old witch named Kiki and her black cat Jiji on their quest of leaving home and having their own independence in the big wide world. 13 is the average age for a young witch to leave home and become a full-fledged witch, Kiki will not be an acceptation. She finds a nice city away from her hometown that she and Jiji are the only magical persons in the city, an overall good thing for Kiki. To be helpful and start getting her own life Kiki provides a Delivery service for the general public at the local bakery which allows her to practice her flying. On her quest to become a full grown adult witch Kiki encounters a small amount of problems and difficulties as any young woman would expect.
Through the film I thought the animation was very successful and very fairy-tale based. This made the plot of the story more and more believable because you would get engrossed in what was going on. The plot carried on very well and succinct over the course of the film and it would also bring the state of equilibrium to the mind going through each of the three stages. The ideologies of the film where very well thought out and included many of the daily tasks and life tasks that people come across in the modern day. For example with Kiki starting her delivery service, it means that she is trying to support herself. This is a common thing people go through a few times in their life. The film is very true to life with a magical and fantasy theme put upon it. The contrasts in the film are ones that again can be related to real life where Kiki is in a new place and she is finding it difficult to adapt to how other people live that are not of magical being. An example of this would be when she wakes up one morning; she goes to use the outhouse and has to run back quickly so the baker does not see her as she is too scared. The only comfort that Kiki has about her home town would be Jiji her liquorice black cat, he talks to her about life situations and has a very dry humour about him which makes him likeable to the audience. Another contrast in the film would be that Kiki is dressed differently to everyone else in the town. Everyone has a fashion sense of trendy through the film and Kiki looks like the traditional witch dressed in a black dress, the only thing that is not traditional is that she does not wear a witches hat, instead she has a very innocent looking red bow tied around her head for decoration. This could represent the warning of her being on her own, however having it in a bow shape it shows that she is a kind hearted individual. This makes her an individual as a person but shows the ideology that even though she looks different she is accepted by society which brings equality and people do not single her out. The twist in the plot is something that could be expected by some viewers, however if you are like me and get very engrossed in it and the beauty of it you will not expect it. The twists or “disequilibrium” in the film is very thought out and thus plays out well bringing the film to a decline but slowly mounting it up to an incline.
My thoughts on the film are that it is something very enjoyable for the whole family to watch. It does not follow the traditional stylings of Disney or the character plot of Disney. Normally Disney has princess’s and witches are bad, this is the opposite where the witch is a good person making it something truly magical. Also I like the way that the film slowly progresses and the viewer does not feel they are thrown into any part of the film too quickly. This then allows the viewer to get used to the characters and to follow the storyline very easily. The whole feel of the film is very cute and quaint, which is something I was ravishingly elated throughout. I am a big fan of cute things and Studio Ghibli is perfect for these things, it is apparent in a lot of the films they make. This is no exception. If you have watched a Studio Ghibli film before then you would know the things you are to expect with their films, if not then you are about to be amazed. Overall Kiki’s Delivery Service is a really good watch and something to fill your heart with warmth and compassion for the girl and her cat. A magical experience whilst watching this film, I became very engrossed in everything that was going round and how nice everything was in the animation and colourings of the shots on screen that I did not expect the twist in it. I would defiantly recommend the film to young children and adults the same….you will love it.
Please check out the studio Ghibli website for more information on the films.