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's Delivery Service

Flying High: Exploring the Magic of Kiki’s Delivery Service

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Kiki’s Delivery Service is a 1989 anime film that tells the story of a thirteen-year-old witch named Kiki (voiced by Minami Takayama). The movie was adapted from the 1985 children’s fantasy novel written by Akiko Ayashi. The film’s director, Japanese filmmaker and manga artist Hayao Miyazaki, is also the founder of the animation studio Studio Ghibli, which has created films such as Spirited Away, along with many other anime projects. Kiki’s Delivery Service was the studio’s first film to be successful after its release, garnering $31 million.

While films like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke delve into epic adventures and fantastical worlds, Kiki’s Delivery Service maintains a more grounded focus on everyday life and human connections. Like its counterparts, the film is imbued with Miyazaki’s signature attention to detail, captivating animation, and poignant storytelling, making it a timeless masterpiece cherished by audiences worldwide. His films are amazing stories that are praised for their endearing characters and relatable themes.

's Delivery Service 2In Kiki’s village, thirteen-year-old girls are at the age where they must learn to be independent for a year away from home and learn to fly on their brooms without any guidance. Self-sufficiency is one of the main lessons that Kiki soon learns during her training as a witch. On a full-mooned night, Kiki leaves her town and takes to the skies with a shaky start on her broomstick. She also takes her cat, Jiji (voiced by Rei Sakuma), on the odyssey. Once Kiki realizes that she has mastered the power of flight, she decides to use her ability to deliver items to people in the seaside community of Koriko that she decides to call home.

It takes time for Kiki to adjust to the busy town that is louder than her quiet and humble village. She soon finds comfort in Koriko as she discovers her calling as a witch. She finds work in the local bakery and helps the bakery owner with running the business. Osono (voiced by Keiko Toda), the owner, also allows Kiki to live in the empty room above the shop. Their friendship blossoms as Osono offers guidance and encouragement to Kiki, demonstrating the importance of community and support in times of uncertainty.

Kiki’s interactions with characters like Tombo (voiced by Kappei Yamaguchi), an adventurous boy fascinated by flight, and Madame (voiced by Haruko Kato), an eccentric artist with a skill for baking, further enrich her experience and shape her understanding of friendship. Kiki grows to learn more about friendships and the beautiful town around her. During her time in Koriko, she gains the skills to become a successful witch along with balancing her delivery job.

However, Kiki begins to doubt herself and has trouble navigating her power of flight. This becomes an issue since it is possible that her loss of confidence might cause her to lose control of her abilities. Flight represents the wings of self-trust and strength of believing in your own power that you have. Kiki must believe in herself and overcome the overuse of her powers. Miyazaki’s fascination with aviation and adventure is evident throughout Kiki’s Delivery Service, drawing inspiration from his own experiences with his love for the skies.

Since its release in 1989, Kiki’s Delivery Service has garnered widespread acclaim from both audiences and critics alike. Praised for its endearing characters, heartfelt storytelling, and timeless themes, the film has earned its place as a beloved classic in the Studio Ghibli canon. Critics have lauded Miyazaki’s ability to seamlessly blend fantasy with reality, crafting a narrative that is both enchanting and deeply human. Moreover, Kiki’s Delivery Service continues to resonate with viewers around the world, inspiring generations with its message of perseverance, friendship, and the power of self-trust.


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