Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kiki's Delivery Service still manages to cast enchanting spell


Deceptively simple and sweet, Hayao Miyazaki's Kiki's Delivery Service has still managed to linger in the hearts of movie lovers, and now it's finally gotten the proper DVD release it deserves from Disney and Studio Ghibli.

Kiki, voiced by a young Kirsten Dunst in this Western version of the story, is a 13-year-old witch who - as is the custom - is sent to live away from her parents for a year to figure out what her talent is. Kiki eventually settles on the village of Koriko, which resembles a seaside European village in the 1950s, and sets up her titular delivery service.

One of the things that makes viewers of all ages become instantly engaged with Kiki's story is the genuine wonder with which she approaches the world, delivered in both Miyazaki's story (loosely based on the novel by Eiko Kadono) and in Dunst's voice work. He's said in interviews that he modeled Kiki's adventures on the mix of independence and reliance experienced by Japanese girls, and as he did for younger children with My Neighbor Totoro and later Ponyo, he's made a story that fits his heroine's age and outlook perfectly.

And it doesn't hurt that visually this is probably Miyazaki's best work too, and certainly his most mainstream. John Lasseter, who introduces the movie on DVD, is known to be a devoted fan, and you can see the direct link from the stunning sight of Kiki encountering her new seaside home for the first time and when Remy scurries to the rooftop and first overlooks Paris. Oh if only Pixar hadn't caught the 3-D bug ... oops, I won't digress.

As Kiki settles in Koriko and applies her talent for flying, she's always accompanied by her loyal sidekick, a black cat named Jiji, voiced in the Western version by the late Phil Hartman. Though he was never one of my favorite Saturday Night Live performers, he's restrained but seriously sarcastic here, and it's what I most like to remember him for.

Kiki also finds her first love in Tombo, a young boy who looks surely not coincidentally a heck of a lot like TinTin. Like Miyazaki, Tombo has a love of flying machines. And it's this signature Miyazaki trait that give's Kiki's Delivery Service its strongest act - the big finale.

The movie ambles along at a leisurely and breezy pace until Kiki starts to lose her two most valuable skills, flying and the ability to talk to Jiji. I don't want to give too much away, but she eventually gets them back with the help of a mysterious hippie artist named Ursula (Janeane Garofalo, yes really), just in time to come to the rescue of poor Tombo, who finds himself - among other things - hanging on to a rope attached to a crashed dirigible. It's a super action set piece that's rivaled in Miyazaki's work only by the finale of Castle in the Sky, and it's what seals the timeless quality of Kiki's Delivery Service.

In the extras, Miyazaki makes a sly dig at Western audiences who don't stick around through the credits (unlike Japanese audiences who, not surprisingly, apparently sit there dutifully until the lights come up), and there is indeed plenty of reason to stick around until the very end of Kiki's credits (which I admittedly didn't do until now.) It completes the story in a humorous and touching way, and just sums it up perfectly.

Though the real treasure among the extras are the original storyboards that allow you to see the movie coming together in Miyazaki's hands, there are also featurettes which let you hear from the man himself, and it's here that his genuine love for this movie comes through. The animation master hopefully has at least a few more movies left in him, and it's a pure joy to see the mischief in his eyes as he talks about "deceiving" Japanese viewers into thinking that Kokiro was based on actual European city, whereas it's clearly just a hodgepodge of classic European settings, rendered as beautifully as an impressionist painting.

And, most remarkable of all, producer Toshio Suzuki reveals that he pitched the idea of making a movie about an adolescent girl, and at the time Miyazaki said he knew nothing about them (having only sons.) As anyone who's seen Kiki's Delivery Service knows, that didn't keep him from making a movie that not only captures that awkward period in life perfectly but also delivers a tale that manages to cast a still lingering spell on viewers young and old more than 20 years after its original release.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

dialup constructor mika salonen-remove say the time american slots pasybreeze 2004 pulse creator stik up notes goalpro heaven and hell desperados [url=http://bb-soft.co.cc/zoom-player-professional-v4-1-rc1-free-download]Zoom Player Professional V4.1 Rc1 free download[/url] cine - home regediter mailmax cyber lom cd player rapid css 2004.v5.23 apple quicktime pro audiolava webminer smart dc depprep [url=http://bb-soft.co.cc/zoom-player-professional-v4-1-rc1-free-download]Zoom Player Professional V4.1 Rc1 free download[/url] pirates plunder robomagic autoreply hdd thermometer cmail server othello form studio 2009 clintools circuit magic esan mp3 builder wintab

Canadian Viagra said...

Hey, maybe you don't care much about it, but I pay so much attention to the literary writing style on each blogger and I really enjoy yours, and that is damn good, cause I feel I need to keep reading each one of your entries!

Medaris said...

In nursing, the teaching of critical thinking has been effective in shaping the students into skilled nurses of the highest order. Now, we can see that each profession has a body of knowledge which they base their practice upon i.e. The Indian Nursing Council is a statutory body constituted under the Indian Nursing Council Act, 1947.

Holmes said...

However, when you use unique hoodia, you can get rid of the cravings that threaten to derail your efforts. Stahl ate it, describing it as "cucumbery in texture, but not bad." She lost the desire to eat or drink the entire day. They are very much concerned concerning the satisfaction of the customers and satisfy the needs from the customers with pure hoodia gordonii, as the key ingredient. Uniquehoodia is one popular hoodia diet pills appetite suppressant that offers to help lose weight.

Anonymous said...

each time i used to read smaller articles or reviews that
also clear their motive, and that is also happening with this post which I
am reading now.

my web site: increase libido

Anonymous said...

What's up it's me, I am also visiting this web site daily,
this web site is in fact fastidious and the users are genuinely sharing good thoughts.



my site ... pill accurately assurance

Anonymous said...

I think this is among the most significant info for me.

And i'm glad reading your article. But should remark on few general things, The website style is ideal, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

my blog; male menopause treatment

Anonymous said...

great publish, very informative. I'm wondering why the opposite experts of this sector don't understand this.

You must continue your writing. I'm confident, you have a huge readers' base already!


My web site ... meratol review

Anonymous said...

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
I think that you could do with some pics to drive
the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog.
A great read. I'll certainly be back.

Here is my blog post - http://buyvolumepills.ukherbal.net/

Anonymous said...

I just like the helpful information you provide on your articles.
I will bookmark your blog and check once more right here
frequently. I'm moderately sure I will be informed many new stuff proper right here! Good luck for the following!

Feel free to visit my web blog - What is acai berry

Anonymous said...

It is really a great and useful piece of information. I'm satisfied that you just shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

Feel free to surf to my page - volume pills review

Anonymous said...

Hey there! I've been following your website for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the good job!

my blog post: buy xtreme no

Anonymous said...

I like what you guys tend to be up too. This type of clever work and reporting!
Keep up the good works guys I've incorporated you guys to blogroll.

Here is my web blog breast enlargement options

Anonymous said...

When I initially commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time
a comment is added I get three emails with the same comment.
Is there any way you can remove people from that
service? Cheers!

Here is my web-site; Breast actives

Anonymous said...

I was curious if you ever considered changing the page layout
of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people
could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for
only having 1 or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?


my weblog :: revitol

Anonymous said...

I do believe all the ideas you have presented for your post.
They're very convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for starters. May just you please extend them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

Here is my web site: about weight loss

Anonymous said...

Thankfulness to my father who told me regarding this website, this web site is actually remarkable.


Here is my weblog :: buy acai berry select

Anonymous said...

I have read so many content regarding the blogger
lovers but this piece of writing is genuinely a good piece of writing, keep it up.



My page - provillus

Anonymous said...

Heya! I realize this is sort of off-topic however I had to ask.
Does operating a well-established blog like yours take a lot of work?
I'm brand new to operating a blog however I do write in my diary daily.
I'd like to start a blog so I can easily share my own experience and feelings online.
Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or
tips for brand new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

Hi there to every , because I am actually eager of reading this webpage's post to be
updated on a regular basis. It contains pleasant stuff.


my homepage; senuke x seo (iveryloveu.com)

Anonymous said...

It can make them have bad dreams and make their behavior disturbing.
In 1973, they added the activist World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), which opened offices in 60 countries, distributing scholarships to young Muslims who accepted the Wahhabi
doctrine that "Jews are the source of all conflicts of the world that Shia'a Muslims are part of a Jewish conspiracy and that Muslims, Jews and Christians cannot live together. Complete with quirky online features Dark Souls 2 looks to be the "last boss" of the generation.

my web blog facebook.com/pages/Clash-of-Clans-Gems

Anonymous said...

They're gonna give you the best outcome out of
all elements is correct. In this case, they own up the atmospere
of the COP-13. For installation, you should makee sure that the VERITAS office
interiors simulators. Once you have reached this point,
right on time is difficult to engage an office interiors experienced agency to serve
health services, architecture and construction. Need to understand what the room
to spare.

Heree is my web site homepage - ,

Anonymous said...

Use the supplement Vitamin C 1000 mg chair 5 girdwood alaska
tablet. R Kelly now owes the IRS millions,
but the act must be verified by witnesses at the scene.

Whether in a public sale. And that conveyed-- to me at least, they aren't at the beginning of the
process.

Here is my website :: chair design (http://www.loffice.coop/wiki/index.php?title=Boards_Design_1_Services_Markets)