Kiki's Delivery Service Review

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Kiki is a 13 year-old witch. This is the age that all witches must live for a year on their own. She finds the seaside town of Korico, and starts up a delivery service, but must think on her feet when she mysteriously loses the ability to fly on her broomstick.


Hard on the heels of the cinema release of Spirited Away came this 1989 animated delight from the same director - the legendary Hayao Miyazaki - in which a teen witch strives to make a living in a bustling European city.

As ever, Miyazaki effortlessly creates an alternate world - here it's a '50s Europe where neither World War ever occurred - and fills them with wonderous energy, colour and life. In the U.S. dubbed version, you'll get Kirsten Dunst reading Kiki, and the late Phil Hartman - he of The Simpsons' Troy McLure, among many, many others - lending voice to her cat.

Visually close to Spirited Away's level - the seaside town looks radiant - the film is actually more accessible to Western viewers, with Kiki's journey to find herself told with effortless charm and humour. Disney-style warmth without the songs and schmaltz.

A terrific alternative to the diabetic's nightmare that is most of Disney's output, Kiki's Delivery Service takes pride of place in Miyazaki's exceptional body of work.