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Old 18th Oct 2005, 11:03   #1
Colyngbourne
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Default Re: Howl's Moving Castle - Miyazaki

Before Sabrina the Teenage Witch struck our TV’s; before Harry Potter was out of primary school; long before Spiderman (2) had his crisis of doubt and lost his powers; before the more nuanced and magical Spirited Away’s tale of ‘coming of age’; Miyazaki made Kiki’s Delivery Service.

The story is an endearingly simple one, grounded in the everyday world, but which has more relevance than a dozen Disney’s. 13 yr old Kiki begins her year-long absence from the family home in order to learn more about her witch’s powers and develop her self by finding her own way in the world. The seaside town she comes to with her sarcastic black cat Jiji, is attractive and busy in a real world way – TV’s and cars mixed with dirigibles and old-style bakeries – but is rather alienating to Kiki until she sets up her broomstick-aided delivery service and starts making some friends.

No high jinks here – a girl who is uncertain of herself and her standing; afraid of of others’ reactions; but kind and endeavouring to do her best. She hardly delivers much – a baby’s dummy, a stuffed toy cat, a herring pie she helped bake – but when she loses faith in what she’s doing and becomes ill from flying through a rainstorm, her magic fails, her broomstick breaks and her magical cat becomes a mute everyday kitty.

But then it is the friends she has unwittingly found through her deliveries who bring her round. The scene in which she is taken by an artist friend back to her studio in the woods and they talk about inspiration and what makes us soar, is the heart of the film yet still beautifully understated. The animation is less ‘anime’ style than others of Miyazaki’s so perhaps is more accessible for a Western audience but it still contains a breadth of perception that I don’t see in other cartoons – a contentment to show things and let them be, instead of pounding us over the head with a joke or a moral point.

This is a very happy film to watch and deserves to be wider known for that if nothing else. I watched it with my gang and they were all very taken with it – including the nearly 14 yr old boy.
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Old 15th Jun 2007, 10:41   #2
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Default Re: Kiki's Delivery Service

Thanks for the review, Col.
I'm slowly working my way through Miyazaki's films, and watched Kiki's Delivery Service a couple of months ago.
I believe that Kiki is perhaps less polished than other Miyazaki films - the plot is fairly simple and enchanting (as opposed to complicated and enchanting for Howl's Moving Castle, or Spirtited Away), and the quality of animation is good, but not a patch on Whisper of the Heart. Having said that, however, it thoroughly deserves to be watched.
As Col has said, it's the story of the young witch Kiki's year of absence from her family, in order to make a way for herself in the world. She is accompanied by sarcastic cat Jiji, who is by far the highlight of the film. Kiki is timid and inexperienced and perhaps not even a particularly good witch, but she has other qualities (kindness, and generosity, and friendship) - and these, rather than any success in her endeavours to learn to be a good witch, are the values that Miyazaki dwells lightly upon.
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Last edited by BeccaK; 15th Jun 2007 at 10:42. Reason: star rating - to conform with filmlist rating earlier in the year
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Old 15th Jun 2007, 16:16   #3
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Default Re: Kiki's Delivery Service

Whisper of the Heart is one of those we haven't seen yet (though we do like The Cat Returns). And we have a white hamster named Jiji after the black cat
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Old 15th Jun 2007, 16:19   #4
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Default Re: Kiki's Delivery Service

One of my friends has a cat named Sen (their other is called Kai).
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Old 15th Jun 2007, 17:08   #5
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Default Re: Kiki's Delivery Service

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Originally Posted by Colyngbourne View Post
Whisper of the Heart is one of those we haven't seen yet (though we do like The Cat Returns). And we have a white hamster named Jiji after the black cat
I've mentally filed Jiji as a name for any cat I might possibly just maybe own in the future!
Whisper of the Heart surprised me - the animation is astoundingly good, though the story is quite sentimental and a lot more traditional than I am used to from Miyazaki. I haven't seen The Cat Returns, but I'm buying my nephew My Neighbour Totoro for his second birthday, if I remember, because that is my standout favourite Miyazaki film, and one of the best children's films I've ever seen.
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Old 15th Jun 2007, 17:12   #6
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Default Re: Kiki's Delivery Service

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I'm buying my nephew My Neighbour Totoro for his second birthday, if I remember, because that is my standout favourite Miyazaki film, and one of the best children's films I've ever seen.
I'd agree. It's astounding. But Mononoke/Spirited Away vie for my favourite Miyazaki, with Howl/Totoro in second place.
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Old 15th Jun 2007, 17:23   #7
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Default Re: Kiki's Delivery Service

Mononoke is sitting on my TBW pile at home at the moment!
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Old 9th Nov 2013, 1:47   #8
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Default Re: Kiki's Delivery Service

Are we all sitting comfortably? Because there's a 'live action' remake on its way:

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/movies/n...on-teaser.html
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