By Taylor Smith
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Kiki’s Delivery Service is an animated film directed by Studio Ghibli’s very own Hayao Miyazaki. First released to Japanese theaters in 1989, it was the highest grossing film of that year. It was also one of the very first Studio Ghibli films to be released in the United States on home video.
The movie follows the story of a young witch named Kiki. Wearing a dark dress and bright red bow she ventures away from her home on a broom stick, during a clear night with a full moon. She heads towards the cape, where she finds a beautiful city with a grand clock tower for her to live in. After running into some trouble, she meets Osono, who allows her to live in a spare room in the storehouse of her bakery.
Kiki’s Delivery Service is an amazing coming-of-age film with themes of homesickness, learning the value of perseverance, the effects of overworking oneself, and the struggles of fitting into a new place. This is a film that I believe many college students will be able to connect with. As students, all of us experience at least some—if not all–of the trials and tribulations that Kiki experiences when navigating her new life in an unfamiliar city. Who at Lewis and Clark has not dealt with trying to fit into a new environment or the exhaustion from overworking oneself?
However, there are a few small issues with Kiki’s Delivery Service. For example, throughout the film there is a glaring lack of visible diversity. It seems as if every single character, in the background or otherwise, is of a light complexion. Another issue is that the movie itself does not always feel like a film. When watching, I noticed breaking points at least every 15 minutes. With these breaks, you could easily cut the film into pieces and make it into a short series that revolves around Kiki’s story. While this may not be an issue for some people, for me it shows a good use of cohesion but poor transition points.
Above all else, I believe that Kiki’s story is a wonderful thing to share with college students who are starting to leave home. It shows a possible familiar perspective of a person who experiences many of the same kinds of obstacles that they will be experiencing in the future.