George Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
Hayao Miyazaki's 1989 classic Kiki’s Delivery Service is one of the most charming, child friendly Ghibli productions I've seen thus far. The film tells the story of a young witch, Kiki, who moves to a new town and uses her flying ability to earn a living.
Kiki’s Delivery Service was a film that took me by complete surprise. The previews never gripped me and the premise seemed uninteresting...yet I couldn't have been more wrong. It's that simple presence that gave the film an unforgettable charm as, despite being slow paced and light-on-conflict, it's difficult not to be won over by the film's endearing characters and beautiful animation, as well as a storyline that stresses the values of independence and friendship. Unlike other Ghibli animations, there are no villains, no hidden objectives and no big twists that turn the story on its head. Instead opting for a good hearted story full of charming characters and a world you ultimately want to see more from. This creates an increasingly heart-warming film that's exactly as advertised and it's this child friendly nature that I respected the most as it takes the conventional story methods of good vs evil and disregards it, instead focusing on Kiki's character development and the delightful tale that ensues.
As a story about how hard it is to make your own way in the world, Kiki’s Delivery Service manages to feel consistently funny, optimistic and exciting. At its core, the conflict between becoming your own, independent person and relying on the support and comfort of others will clearly speak to many audience members. Not every child who watches it will get that message, but like so many other Miyazaki's films, it strikes a chord deep down that will ultimately be profoundly remembered by many who grew up with it. An absolute delight when compared to Ghibli's darker creations.
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