The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.
When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.
Upon being sent to live with relatives in the countryside; an emotionally distant adolescent girl becomes obsessed with an abandoned mansion and infatuated with a girl who lives there; a girl who may or may not be real.
This is the story of a young witch, named Kiki who is now thirteen years old. But she is still a little green and plenty headstrong, but also resourceful, imaginative, and determined. With her trusty wisp of a talking cat named Jiji by her side she's ready to take on the world, or at least the quaintly European seaside village she's chosen as her new home. Written by
Anthony Pereyra (email@example.com)
The name of Osono's bakery, "Guchokipanya" is a Japanese pun made from the words "guchokipa" (Rock Paper Scissors) and "pan'ya" (bakery). See more »
The Disney dub refers several times to the airship as a "dirigible", which is correct, but also as a "blimp", which it isn't; it is a zeppelin, a rigid airship with an internal skeleton that holds it in shape, not a blimp, which is basically a big helium-inflated balloon held in shape by the helium. See more »
This may seem a rehash of the previous comments, but I only now got to see the Disney dubbed release.
I owned a bootleg copy of Kiki while it was still in Japanese theaters; I fell in love with the movie after first seeing the spectacle of the dirigible crash near the tail end. I learned to worship this movie because of the grandeur, because of the simplicity...
I lost my bootleg copy, and after the American release, began hunting down the laserdisc. A year of searching, I finally found it... was it worth the wait? Yes, with reservations...
I am (overly) familiar with the Japanese version, and did not want to be burdened with the "star" American voices; my wife doesn't like foreign-language film, though, so I needed the English version. With the LD, I got both benefits without having to purchase 2 VHS versions, and got to do some interesting side-by-side comparisons- switching between languages, watching the Japanese language version with the sub-titles for the English version, etc.
First off- this *is* Miyazaki, and *this* is animation. It is utterly beautiful, and the story is a wonderful one for both children and adults. There are very few people who will not be charmed by this... except maybe teenage boys, who don't want to be caught liking something so sweet. Otherwise, I can safely recommend any version to anybody.
Miyazaki films often prefer to paint a scene with pictures and music, not words. The English translation is an egregious offender here; what in the Japanese version are vignettes and scenes that are wordless become in the English version open chances for Phil Hartman and Kirsten Dunst to wisecrack, chat, or what-have-you. I feel that this is due to Disney's belief that children in America must be entertained for every second of a movie, lest their minds wander off.
Just as many people find Japanese dialogue to be grating on the ears, so do I find the English language voice actors to be grating. Actually, mainly just (the late) Phil Hartman. His nasal, loud voice just does not fit JiJi, a cute, diminutive cat. Kirsten does an okay job, although her voice sounds a wee bit older than Kiki's 13.
Already being familiar with the film, I have to admit being disappointed with the English version... it's a necessary evil, and I'm glad that my wife can enjoy the film now; but I feel that no matter how well-intentioned, Miyazaki's vision was dimmed somewhat in the Americanization. If the only version to come out had been an English version, I honestly would have rather imported a copy from Japan than support Disney.
All that being said, though, I would place the English-language Kiki far above most Disney efforts, and especially above Disney's modern efforts. I sincerely recommend that everyone watch Kiki once; if you like it, try the Japanese-language version (Buena Vista has released a VHS, widescreen, sub-titled Japanese version. Thank you, Disney!) And if you are a Disney film fan, you owe it to yourself to see what the Japanese can do.
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