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.
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.
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)
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 »
The four-engined biplane (more precisely, sesquiplane) that Kiki sees during the opening credits is a real aircraft, the Handley-Page HP42. Eight of these planes - the first four-engined aircraft ever built - were commissioned during the 1930s; later they were converted to military use, and all were destroyed by 1941. But since this movie - according to director Hayao Miyazaki - takes place in a world where World War II never happened, it's plausible that the HP42 would still be in civilian service. See more »
Jiji, I've decided not to leave this town. Maybe I can stay and find some other nice people who will like me and accept me for who I am.
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In the Disney english version:In Memory of Phil Hartman 1948-1998 See more »
This ranks up there with Pinocchio as the greatest movie for children ever made. One huge problem with most animated children's films are that the plots are so conventional and often contain very 1950s ideals for society that they become detrimental to society. One's childhood is the most impressionable time in their life, so movies that are directed towards them teach them what places different sorts of people play in society. There is a very humorous, but also very serious bit of dialogue in a film called The Last Days of Disco where characters discuss the effects Lady and the Tramp could have on little girls, depicting a young female dog falling for a vagabond Tramp. This, they muse, sets young women up to fall for rebellious men later in life. This may seem like a humorous idea, but it's absolutely true. Even good Disney movies give children these standards. As nice as The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella or Snow White and the Seven Dwarves may be, they basically teach that it is the woman's place to grow up and get married, prefereably to a handsome rich man (perhaps the rich part is never said, but both the main male characters in these films do happen to own castles). The writers of these films probably had no idea that that is what they were doing, but it is.
That is why Pinocchio is the best Disney movie. It is probably the only Disney animated film that I can think of that actually concerns the predicament of its target audience: children. I can hardly think of a single (American) animated film besides it that has a child as its main character (oh, the Jungle Book, which is also excellent).
Then comes Kiki's Delivery Service. It is an absolutely perfect movie about a young girl out on her own trying to handle the responsibilities of life. It is, in my opinion, the best movie that a child can watch. And not only will it teach children, it is also marvelously animated, directed, and written. There is a plethora of great characters, exciting moments, and imaginative situations. It should also expand a child's mind, not only because of the imagination involved, which will help to break children away from conventions in their film experience, thus making them more intelligent, but because it comes from another culture. It doesn't overtly show its Japaneseness, unless you count the imagination involved (though you should count that as a credit towards Hayao Miyazaki, who is the greatest genius of animation as far as I'm concerned). But it may spark an interest in children old enough to understand that someone from another country made it. Also, for younger kids, Miyazaki's fantastic, equally good My Neighbor Totoro. 10/10
(ps: I have only seen the dubbed version of this film. I find it perfectly acceptable and great. Nothing made me cringe, anyway. I think Kirsten Dunst did a very good job characterizing Kiki, a much better job than Claire Danes did characterizing San from Princess Mononoke.)
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