Kiki's Delivery Service Reviews
There are beautiful visuals, and touching characters, but I ultimately feel as though I watched a person find their way in a new town, rather than watching a witch-in-training learn her craft, or do anything else interesting of note.
The city she chooses, is a beautiful, maritime one, with an Italian stylization. During her stay, she must utilize her arcane talents in order to provide for herself. While her initial reception is cold, Kiki is infatuated with the city and decides to stay.
We, the audience, quickly become infatuated with the city as well; the backgrounds look spectacular and the direction manages to depict accurately the vibrant Mediterranean setting. I know it is a matter of taste, but I love the design of the early Miyazaki films and still consider them the pinnacle of the medium.
And that is the point where the praise stops. For a film that's about a magic wielder it is not magical at all, like for example its predecessor, Tonari no Totoro (1988), was. The film's main theme are the troubles of a girl stepping on the threshold from childhood to adolescence. For instance no focus is given to how kiki studies or trains for her craft, but at two scenes we see her disappointment with her plain black robes.
As the film progresses it is apparent that this is a kid's movie; the scenario is simplistic and the world's rules unestablished. The film doesn't hide that fact, and it is maybe unfair to criticize it strictly, maybe I am just spoiled by the quality Ghibli and Pixar films, but it just is not as good as the competition.
While it fails to transcend its genre like Mimi wo Sumaseba (1995), or the Incredibles (2004), it is still a very cute family film, that will resonate especially well with young girls. Know your expectations and enjoy the spirited animation. 6.0/10.