Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Review | Movie | Kiki's Delivery Service

KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE : At the age 13, aspiring witches leave home to begin
their witch training in a different city. 13-year-old Kiki dreams of living her
new life in a peaceful city near the ocean, and sets off in search of her new
home. She finally discovers a perfect city called Koriko, but upon landing,
faces hardships that make her question if her search is really over. Soon after
her arrival, she is taken in by a kind baker named Osono, who offers Kiki
payment and a place to stay in exchange for her services at the bakery, and
"Kiki's Delivery Service" is launched.

Animation genius Hayao Miyazaki brings a new vision to witches in this charming 1989 children's movie about a 13-year-old girl born to a resident witch who makes healing potions for neighbors. Kiki, a witch-in-training, flies from home to find a use for her abilities as a witch, and finds new friends, a new home, and a new experience to write home about.

Kiki's idea of the fun of growing up is much different from a regular girl's; Kiki's dreams of her future are all written out. She dreams of flying away on the night of a full moon, on a broomstick she created herself, to a city by the ocean, to discover and develop her skill as an individual and as a witch. Hearing on the radio a full moon is set to appear that night, Kiki tells her parents that she's finally ready, and with her friends and family watching, Kiki flies off in search of the perfect city. With her cat sidekick Jiji feeding her cynical advice throughout her journey, Kiki's doubt ultimately comes into play, as she lands in what seems to be the perfect city, and encounters problems also immediately. On top of that, she is seen flying on her broomstick by a now fascinated boy named Tombo, who won't stop following her.

Kiki wanders the city feeling sorry for herself, wondering if there is even a place for her in the beautiful city after all. No sooner does she wonder, the co-owner of a nearby bakery is attempting to gain the attention of a customer who has left her baby's pacifier behind. The co-owner, Osono, is very pregnant, but attempts to run after the woman anyway. Seeing her chance to steps in, Kiki offers to return the pacifier, and the grateful woman watches in amazement as Kiki's flies the pacifier down to the woman, who later compliments Osono's "new delivery girl." A thought strikes the two, and Osono offers Kiki a place to stay in the bakery, as well as payment, in exchange for Kiki's delivery services.

Whether you decide to pick up the English dub or the Japanese dub, you're sure to find a great time in Kiki's Delivery Service. The English dub features such voices such as Kirsten Dunst, Debbie Reynolds and the late Phil Hartman, one of his last films before his death. The Japanese dub, just as spectacular, features anime regulars such as Minani Takayama, who has lent her voice to such series as Sailor Moon, Escaflowne, and Tsubasa: Tokyo Revelations. Another prominent Japanese voice actor is Kappei Yamaguchi, whose films credits are just as vast, playing the title character in InuYasha, Artemis in Sailor Moon, and, most notably, L Lawliet from the Death Note franchise. If you keep your ears open for both dubs, you're sure to hear other familiar voices, as well.

This movie is intended for children, so all material in this movie is suitable for all ages. This movie is overall a great family flick! Any young child is sure to get a kick out of the tiny Jiji and the roles he plays in Kiki's deliveries, including temporarily portraying a stuffed cat of his likeness in place of the toy missing in the woods, and ultimately befriending a large St. Bernard dog. The composition of the movie is excellent and is sure to keep you in tune with what's happening, not just with the film, but with Kiki, as she finds creative ways to deal with the struggles of having a job, becoming a teenager and finding her place in the world. Miyazaki never fails, and if you're a fan, you won't want to miss one of his greatest creations yet.

Overall Rating:
/ 5



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