Movie Review: Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
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Hayao Miyazaki



Hayao Miyazaki’s “Kiki's Delivery Service” is a heartfelt and inspiring movie.

Released by Studio Ghibli in 1989, it was based on Eiko Kadono's novel of the same title. It tells the story of a young witch having difficulty with stepping into adulthood and finding her own way forward, both in finding a place to live and finding a way to live life as a whole. While it is near impossible to create a ranking list of Miyazaki’s movies, Kiki would have to be one of the top 3 most stunning Ghibli movies for the visuals alone. There is no argument - the level of the details in every scene and the backgrounds is nothing short of astonishing.

The story is set in Kiki's family house in a lovely, small village. The time has come for Kiki to leave home and find out what her life as a witch could be. While it sounds like quite an adventure, it is no surprise to anyone that soon Kiki will have to deal with life’s many obstacles, some more serious than the others. For starters, moving into a big city and looking for a place to stay. Figuring out what to do for a living. Getting through lack of motivation and trying to believe in herself again.

“Kiki's Delivery Service” is a movie that will speak to anyone and everyone, especially at this basic level and station in life.

Few people wouldn't be anxious about stepping into adulthood and facing living on their own, and Kiki's story is very uplifting in this manner. Yoshifumi Kondō's Whisper of the Heart from 1995 (also released by Ghibli) touches similar problems, using different settings and storylines.

Struggling to become independent is only one of many matters with which viewers can relate. Isolation, vulnerability, seeking acceptance, losing and regaining inspiration are a just a few of them.

The film also addresses finding balance between tradition and progress, easily noticeable through the main character's profession. Could there be any more severe dichotomy than a witch with a black cat and a broom trying to fit into the modern world?

The supporting characters, typically for Miyazaki, are wonderfully detailed and lively. Kiki's best friend, cat Jiji, bakers Osono and Fukuo, geeky Tombo, and painter Ursula - they all play an important role in this story, while still having their own interests, and are well developed.

As usual, the soundtrack was composed by Joe Hisaishi, whose senses once again didn't disappoint, underlining the nostalgic atmosphere and bringing up even the most subtle nuances.

In the end, Kiki's Delivery Service shows a great care for explaining that seemingly hopeless situations can be resolved, and it's only a matter of time and patience in sorting any difficulties out. This movie is uplifting, heart-warming and simply lovely. Definitely a recommended watch.

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curut001's avatar

please buy kiki la petite sorciere 1989 full movie

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TabaquiJ's avatar
What gorgeous art!  On par with the gorgeous art of the original.  One of my daughter's top five favorite movies, and one that I've grown to love, as well.
adesuryart's avatar
Wow its so amazing
ithaswhatitisnt's avatar
ithaswhatitisntHobbyist Writer
Kiki's Delivery Service was the first Studio Ghibli film I ever watched, and it is still my favorite to this day.  :love:  When I was five, Kiki was my hero.  I'm 21 now, and she is still my hero.  I'm not a witch, but Kiki taught me how to find magic in the ordinary.  It's because of her that I love magic.  Thanks, Kiki. :heart: Arigato, Miyazaki-san. :bow:
ikazon's avatar
ikazon Writer
There's something to be said about Kiki's Delivery Service, in that it speaks to anyone who is working to succeed but has doubts. I think that's part of why it is as heartwarming of a film as it is, because we want to see Kiki succeed.

I really dig Semcool's art, it really does a great job of capturing the warmth of Kiki as a character and what she strives to do. :nod:
sof-t's avatar
sof-tStudent Digital Artist
Where can you find the movie..?
Kumihox3's avatar
Wow... and I didn't know the movie ㅜㅜ
SuperTest4EVER's avatar
SuperTest4EVERHobbyist General Artist
Now I'm curious...
VesaiasTheValiant's avatar
VesaiasTheValiantHobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah, Kiki's Delivery Service, oh what a delight it was to see this movie years ago! Love
I like the story of Kiki how she develops as a young woman, though my favourite character is Ursula, 
since she is a visual artist like me, and her wisdom made a great impression on me. 
Mnbear2's avatar
Mnbear2Hobbyist General Artist
I haven't seen this movie in years, but this helps bring back the memories! please make more like this!
alliethemoviegal's avatar
This is so cool! I loved that movie as a child and still love it today! I'm glad I have it on Blu-ray.
Rainbowblitez's avatar
RainbowblitezHobbyist Artist
OMGA I love Kiki and Gigi Best movie evr!!!!!!!!
Heart Shine Heart 
SenkaiArt's avatar
SenkaiArtStudent Digital Artist
Your art so owseme!!!! <3
AryaaSolipsism's avatar
Hey, could you review the movie Perfect Blue?
UnspawnedArt's avatar
UnspawnedArtHobbyist General Artist
Very adorable!
Pinkieisapartyanimal's avatar
PinkieisapartyanimalStudent Artist
Loved the movie.
gio11gc's avatar
gio11gcStudent Traditional Artist
First rented from our local blockbuster in the early 2000's, I absolutely adored this movie. I had no clue who made it, when it came out, where it came from, etc. until almost a decade later. Someone eventually got me my own copy on VHS too, and I go back and watch it at least once a year. It always gives me this warm feeling - a mix of nostalgia and wonder at everything I didn't notice before. 
xandraclay's avatar
xandraclayHobbyist Artisan Crafter
This is such a cute movie!
moskate1993's avatar
This was the first Japanese animated movie I've ever seen. I was like 8 years old and thought it was super slow and kind of boring but the art and story were so fascinating that I sat through my own boredom (kids, right?) I came out pretty content.
realitysquared's avatar
realitysquaredHobbyist General Artist
We're big fans of Miyazaki's work and this is one that I have yet to pick up. I've had it in my hands a bunch of times but I'll definitely have to add it to our collection.
prismalcolor1's avatar
I love Studio Ghibli, and this picture is amazing.
y2jenn's avatar
y2jennProfessional General Artist
I don't know why I've never seen this one. I just adore Ghibli films. There's a wonderful somehow weighted weightlessness to how the magical characters move, and the little details in these movies make them so immersive. Chihiro shuffling to keep up with her mom and tapping her toes on the ground after she pulls on her shoes are perfect examples of that. The attention to little 'real world' details like that is just the neatest thing. The features here are lovely. I really should make it a priority to see this film this weekend.
LeeNTien's avatar
I watch it every few months.... no idea why.
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