One of the latest release in the
Studio Ghibli Collection, Kiki's Delivery Service is another film by the
acclaimed Hayao Miyazaki which has been long overdue a DVD release to do
this great title justice.
If you are expecting this witch's tale to be of the Harry Potter mould with evil wizards and goblins then worry not. Despite the premise of Kiki, the only powers seen are flying as the definition of a witch in this film is more of chemist really - mixing potions for the good of people (this is seen with Kiki's mother at the beginning). Kiki actually contains the least fantasy of any of Miyazaki's films - there are no radish spirits, grinning feline transport or Italian pigs here. Instead Kiki is character driven as there is little plot as such, rather numerous events which merely serve to broaden Kiki's rites of passage.
Miyazaki's other great achievement with
Kiki is surely the lavishly-detailed town that he has created.
Clearly inspired by his visits to Europe the attention to detail
shown through the winding streets, alleys and beautiful house is
staggering. Witness the geographical wonder when Kiki swoops
high above the town during the film, a marvellous testament to
Miyazaki's wonderful animation and creative ability. Only
his later work Spirited Away rivals the clear love he has put
into creating the town in Kiki. The attention paid to
actual is truly astonishing.
The music of Kiki easily matches the
standard of the animation with an excellent whimsical score from
Joe Hisaishi which really captures the feel of the town with a
child-like bolero sound. Throughout the film the score never
detracts from what is happening on the screen, even if nothing is
happening amazingly as Hisaishi manages to capture the feel
so well that the music just blends in with the animation. The
opening and ending themes feature a more upbeat feel with their
lyrical melodies, the opening capturing Kiki's excitement at the
beginning with the ending capturing a more steady 'settling down'