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A 12-year-old girl is sent to the country for health reasons, where she meets an unlikely friend in the form of Marnie, a young girl with long, flowing blonde hair. As the friendship ... See full summary »
This is the story of a young witch, named Kiki who is now 13 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)
When Kiki first arrives in the city, she is almost hit by a bus bearing the name "Studio Ghibli". This is the name of Hayao Miyazaki's animation studio. "Ghibli" is seen on the side of two other buses; once as she is being questioned by the officer. See more »
English version: A wooden sign in the bakery features the text "Kiki's Delivery Service," in English writing. Later in the film, the same sign is written in Japanese. During the closing credits, the English writing is back. See more »
We better rest here until it's dry.
Won't we get in trouble?
Not if nobody's finds us. I'm soaked through, down to the bone.
[Kiki takes off her wet dress from the rain, seeing her with her white undershirt and white panties as she puts her dress beside her. Then gathers a pile of hay to cover herself]
This smells great.
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In the Disney english version:In Memory of Phil Hartman 1948-1998 See more »
The English dubbed version adds a lot of extraneous dialogue (particularly when the characters are off-camera) over several silent passages. In several cases, Jiji is given extra lines that transform his character into a wisecracking conscience, but in most instances the extra dialogue is redundant or unnecessarily expository ("Look, she's got a cat"), while in others it's used to promote 'Disney values' (Ursula says "It's OK, I know that guy" when they hitch a ride; Jiji tells Kiki not to disobey a policeman's instructions). See more »
First of all, 10 points to Ghibli for Variety. Producing this and 'Grave of the Fireflies' inside a year of each other would be like Disney doing 'Mary Poppins' and 'Judgement at Nuremberg' back to back.
Words that spring to mind after watching Kiki include 'delightful', 'light', 'bouyant', and so forth. It's obvious Miyazaki has refined his craft considerably from the early movies, which somehow seemed a bit... I don't know - stuttery. Kiki, though just flows effortlessly. Combine this with the beautiful use of lighting and colour to produce that summertime, Mediterranean sort of feel, and Kiki is a movie that is just thoroughly uplifting, never getting bogged down in complexities or dark intrigues.
Unfortunately - and this is the only thing holding it back from 4 stars from me - what it does get slightly bogged down in, is its own lightness. There were just a few sections where the lack of a villain, of any real action, of anything other than people being nice to each other, took the top 10% off what was otherwise a masterful movie. I suppose there were a few other flaws, too: some characters and situations which came into it were just not developed at all. And there was one moment that teetered on real poignancy - the old dog with what he thought was a stuffed toy - but it sort of didn't happen. Also allowing the cat - sorry, forgotten his name - to drop out of proceedings for most of the latter half the film, definitely removed a spark from the film (I can't believe I just complained about the LACK of a comic sidekick)
BTW, as someone who lives in Tasmania, which is allegedly the inspiration for much of the setting of this film, please come here by all means, but don't expect it to look like that. The bakery in Ross (central Tasmania) which supposedly inspired the one in the film is in one of the few Tasmanian towns that you _can't_ see the ocean from, and the general look of the movie is distinctly southern European, though I guess some of the rural shots look a bit Tasmanian.
Whatever the case, Miyazaki's attention to detail is, as usual, stunning. The town may have been cobbled together from his favourite bits of Italy, France, Tasmania and wherever else, but its nothing less than a labour of love nonetheless.
Anyway, 8 out of 10.
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