Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) is yet another brilliant film by the world-renowned director of My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind, and The Castle in the Sky: Laputa, Hayao Miyazaki. Kiki's is based upon an original story by Eiko Kadono.
According to tradition, witches must leave home at the age of 13 and find a city in which to study magic and offer their services to the inhabitants. Full of enthusiasm, Kiki leaves home with her cat Jiji to find a city in need of a witch.
The beauty of Kiki's Delivery Service lies in its simplicity. Kiki herself is a simple girl with the innocence that accompanies youth. It is this youthful innocence which makes Kiki somewhat unprepared for life in the city. Fortunately for her, she meets people who help her adjust to her new environment. This film portrays Kiki's coming-of-age -- how she starts off as an overconfident child and how she finds her place in society. There are no bad guys in this movie, Kiki never breaks into song, there is only one talking animal, and there's nothing flashy about this movie whatsoever. The simplicity of the storytelling and the strength of Miyazaki's direction, combined with beautiful background visuals and the fabulous music we've come to expect from Studio Ghibli, makes Kiki's Delivery Service a true classic and a joy to watch. Kiki's Delivery Service was the first bona fide blockbuster for Studio Ghibli, starting its run of movies that consistently outsold Disney's films at the box office in Japan.
Recently, Disney and Tokuma Shoten, Studio Ghibli's parent company, signed a distribution deal. What this means for anime fans is that many of Studio Ghibli's works, including Kiki's, will soon be distributed in the United States, including a potential theatrical release of Miyazaki's next feature film, Mononoke Hime (The Monster Princess), in the summer of 1997. PROUD OTAKU, FEAR NOT! Studio Ghibli has vehemently emphasized that Disney will NOT force its influence upon the production of Mononoke Hime and other Ghibli films.
Anyhow, please enjoy this movie. You wouldn't want to make Kiki sad, would you?