Quickie: Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki is a young witch in training. Having moved away from her family and struggling to adapt to life in her new town, moves in with local baker Osono and starts up a delivery service. But how will Kiki cope when she loses her powers amid the attentions of local boy Tombo?

You’ve no doubt seen countless coming of age stories before, but have you seen one about a witch who lives in a bakery and sets up a delivery business whilst being pursued by a boy who wants to make a flying machine out of a bicycle? That’s what makes Kiki’s Delivery Service so alluring – it tells its story in a totally unique and magical way that it feels unlike anything else.

It does play pretty young at times, sometimes verging on cheesy, although that could be due to the language translation in the dubbed English version I saw. However, its messages of believing in yourself, the rewards of hard work and always trying to challenge and improve yourself are nonetheless strong ones that can apply to absolutely anyone of any age. Kiki may be a witch but her problems are those that will ring true with many, young and old, and as such she’s a very relatable protagonist.

One could argue that Kiki’s Delivery Service will resonate more with female viewers than male, but it’s so charming that it’d be difficult for anyone not to get completely swept up in Kiki’s wonderful world.

4 pigeons

4/5 pigeons

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35 thoughts on “Quickie: Kiki’s Delivery Service

  1. Mr Rumsey says:

    One of the few Ghibli films I haven’t yet seen, and it’s very good to see a high rating like yours. I really want to see it. Nice review mate!

  2. Monkeyboy says:

    Agree it’s a very charming movie, that seems to be about not much at all, whilst still holding the attention. I can’t remember now, but does the cat speak in the English dub? I don’t think it does in the Japanese version, until right near the end.

  3. theipc says:

    These aren’t really my types of movies so I’ll take this on your good word!

  4. Nostra says:

    Still have not seen this one even though I am a huge Ghibli fan. Will have to find time to check this one out!

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a Studio Ghibli film, something I ought to change soon. Great review Chris, this one looks like a good place to begin!

    Adam.

  6. ruth says:

    I saw the trailer when someone gave me a guest article on Miyazaki. This does sound pretty cute, so far I’ve only seen Spirited Away so I definitely need to see more of his work.

    • It is very cute, as is most of Ghibli’s stuff. I’ve only seen a few Ghibli films and I’m yet to see Spirited Away but that’s very high of what I want to see next.

      • ruth says:

        I’m not in love w/ that movie to be honest Chris, though I appreciate Miyazaki’s style. I’m willing to check out his other works though, this one and The Wind Rises especially, hopefully I like both of them a lot more.

  7. Another Miyazaki classic. What a lovely film this is. Lovely write-up Chris.

  8. I re-watched this not long ago and still found it charming, though Kirsten Dunst’s voiceover was pretty annoying. However, when I was a kid I absolutely LOVED this movie.

  9. Nick Powell says:

    Glad you enjoyed it. Whenever I watch this film, I so desperately want to live in Kiki’s town. It looks like the most perfect place in the world. And just as this is heavily influenced by European styles, as are a few of Miyazaki’s works, it also makes me incredibly hungry.

  10. CouchKurisu says:

    I love Kiki! it has to be in my top 3 Ghibli films simply because it makes me so happy – along with Ponyo.

  11. thycriticman says:

    Not sure if I will ever see this, but the premise is certainly appearing. That is so unique and I am glad that it all came together perfectly…

    I know it sucks and all, but sometimes I enjoy watching dubbed films. It is always unintentionally hilarious.

  12. One of my favourites from Studio Ghibli! I had to do an essay on it last year actually, haha.

  13. table9mutant says:

    Haven’t gotten around to seeing this one yet but do love the sound of it. Will watch it someday soon. Nice review. : )

  14. Victor De Leon says:

    Can’t wait to watch this one. Looks fantastic. I own most of the Ghibli films but this one I haven’t picked up yet. Thanks!

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