This, in my books, is Miyazaki's hallmark production -- a truly masterful piece of storytelling. There are no earth-shattering revelations in the script, nor are there any spectacular mecha animation sequences to feast your eyes upon (but the animation quality is, as with all Miyazaki productions, top-notch.). Instead, we have a gentle, well-written story of a young witch ("majo" in Japanese) learning to support herself in the city. Along the way, she discovers the types of people, friendships and experiences that you or I have come across during our own lives.
The animation is smooth, characterisations are excellent, and music is just wonderful. I especially like the music and animation when Kiki and Gigi (the black cat) first fly into the city by the sea. (The song, "Umi No Mieru Machi," is simply wonderful.) Miyazaki has an on-going fascination with Europe and all things that fly (or might fly), which is very evident in the level of detail throughout the movie. Gigi often steals the show, with either his poignant remarks, or physical humour as only Miyazaki's animation can present. Don't forget to watch this film right to the end; the scenes during the closing credits are really cute, plus there's a short epilogue after all the credits. This is a wonderful, heart-warming, "feel-good" film about growing up and self-discovery -- I can hardly wait until Disney picks it up and translates it into English. - AN
Kiki's is an incredible story by Miyazaki about a young witch who has moved to the city for a year to work on her own. (It's part of the necessary training for becoming a witch). The characters are excellent and well developed, the animation is again excellent, as is the music. Gigi's character is extremely loveable with his sarcastic wit. (Gotta love those eyes!)
As a movie, Kiki's is one of the best animations out there, and is very typical Miyazaki. Kiki is a young thirteen year old out on her own for the first time and is learning to support herself, and also trying to master flying. She never was very good at it, and she finds that, as with all skills, she needs to hone her flying abilities. Unlike Naüsicaa which had a definite message, Kiki's deals more with human nature and growing up. It has a beautifully written script which we can all relate to. While we've never had to struggle to learn to fly, we've all gone through the headaches and heartaches of making new friends and developing our own talents. Hopefully, when Disney releases this film they will put in the same effort that Fox did with Tonari no Totoro. A definite "feel good" movie, this is definitely one for the movie collection. - JYN