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Blu-ray Review: Kiki's Delivery Service

With director Hayao Miyazaki’s recent retirement, Disney has decided to finally finish their Studio Ghibli Blu-ray collection. With the release Miyazaki’s final film, The Wing Rises, Disney has also released Kiki’s Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke.

Miyazaki’s 1989 film Kiki’s Delivery Service follows Kiki, a young witch who has just reached the age of thirteen. In accordance with tradition, Kiki must set out to live independently for an entire year. On her broomstick, Kiki flies to the town of Koriko, where she has decided to use her witching skills to earn a living. With the help of her talking cat Jiji, Kiki accepts the job of delivering goods for a baker. Through her deliveries, Kiki meets an array of interesting characters, but her business is soon put in jeopardy when she loses her ability to fly.

Like all of Miyazaki’s films, Kiki’s Delivery Service is a marvelous effort. It appeals to both adults and children, thanks to its mature style and engaging sequences. The film was the first to come out of the partnership between Disney and Studio Ghibli, and therefore features an extremely talented voice cast for its English dub. While we always prefer to watch films in their original language, those who chose to listen to the dubbed track will hear the talents of Kirsten Dunst (Kiki), Debbie Reynolds (Madame), and Phil Hartman (Jiji), in his final role.

In addition to the original Japanese and dubbed audio tracks, the Blu-ray includes the following features:

Original Japanese Storyboards
Running at 103 minutes, this feature is pretty long. If one doesn’t one to dedicate too much time, they may still skim through the feature to see what the film looked like in its storyboard stage.

The Locations of Kiki
This feature shows the real life locations that inspired the film. It’s pretty interesting.

The Blu-ray features many more additions, but they all run under ten minutes and only provide moments of brief entertainment.

Matt Hoffman

Matthew Hoffman is a Toronto-based cinephile who especially enjoys French films and actresses over the age of 50; including but not limited to: Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Streep, and Jacki Weaver.