Kiki (Kristen Dunst), a young witch-in-training, has reached the age of thrirteen. According to tradition, all witches of that age must leave home for one year, so that they can learn how to live on their own. Kiki, along with her talking cat Gigi (Phil Hartman), fly away to live in the seaside town of Korico. After starting her own delivery service, she must learn how to deal with her new life....
In all, this is another well made film by animation master, Hayao Miyazaki. I appreciated the overall meaning of this film. Like Kiki, we've struggled with adjusting, made mistakes, and wondered if we're really doing the right thing. We may fear we're losing our spark, and feel we'll never be accepted, that we'll never be as good looking or popular or successful as those we envy. Kiki's story isn't just that of a child growing up, but of a human being moving from one stage of her life to the next, and that gives the film a universal appeal. Because of Hayao Miyazaki's spirited direction, the film rarely loses its magical glimmer.
Nonetheless, also the writer of the film, Miyazaki takes far too many detours from the fundamental themes underlying the story. After seeing this film, a viewer may still wonder why those people seemed to be so undisturbed by the sight of an adolescent witch zooming across their town on a broomstick. One may also ask why Kiki decides to start a delivery service instead of sticking to her avowed mission to train to be a witch. Unfortunately, "Kiki's Delivery Service" leaves these and many more questions unanswered.
In the end, Kiki's Delivery Service may be one of Hayao Miyazaki's weakest films but is still an enjoyable watch.
*** out of 4 stars