5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kiki Delivers
Face it: any kids' video you buy will be watched over and over, mostly in your presence. You want to choose carefully, since you will be spending so much quality time with this video. Kiki's Delivery Service won't disappoint you. This sweet, gentle movie is a coming-of-age story about Kiki, a 13-year-old witch-in-training. As part of said training, she is required to...
Published on April 12 2004 by Denny Vu Quach
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT THE SAME AS THE ORIGINAL!!
I purchased this DVD because I finally wore out my VHS copy. I LOVED this movie as a kid and still do today. Unfortunately, this edition leaves out A LOT of Gigi's (Kiki's cat) script. I got 30 min in and had to turn it off I was so disappointed. It is fine if you have never seen the movie before. Since I have seen it so many times, this issues really bothered me. I ended...
Published 16 months ago by Jessie
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kiki Delivers,
Face it: any kids' video you buy will be watched over and over, mostly in your presence. You want to choose carefully, since you will be spending so much quality time with this video. Kiki's Delivery Service won't disappoint you. This sweet, gentle movie is a coming-of-age story about Kiki, a 13-year-old witch-in-training. As part of said training, she is required to spend a year away from home practicing her craft. Her subsequent adventures are the subject of this endearing film by Japanese anime director Hayao Miyazaki. The animation is splendid, the casting mostly inspired (Kirsten Dunst, Janeane Garofalo, Debbie Reynolds, and even the late Phil Hartman as the voice of Kiki's companion cat). Unlike the standard Disney fare, this movie has no violence, no sex, no profanity, and not even a dysfunctional family.
The themes of Kiki's Delivery Service are noble ones. There are far worse ways to spend a few hours (or a few dozen) than watching a young girl make friends and gain self-confidence, especially one as appealing as Kiki. Buy yourself an extra copy of this video. When you wear the first one out watching it by yourself, you'll need the spare to placate the kids.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT THE SAME AS THE ORIGINAL!!,
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This review is from: Kiki's Delivery Service (Special Edition) (DVD)
I purchased this DVD because I finally wore out my VHS copy. I LOVED this movie as a kid and still do today. Unfortunately, this edition leaves out A LOT of Gigi's (Kiki's cat) script. I got 30 min in and had to turn it off I was so disappointed. It is fine if you have never seen the movie before. Since I have seen it so many times, this issues really bothered me. I ended up purchasing an old version of the movie; 2003 I believe.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film that everyone will enjoy. As delightful as they come!,
It's great that Americans are finally discovering the dazzling animation of Japanese genius Hayao Miyazaki (whose film "Spirited Away" won the award for Best Animated Film in 2003), and that Disney has started to release excellent DVD editions of his films with both Japanese and English language options. Miyazaki's 1989 film "Kiki's Delivery Service" ("Majo no takkyubin" in Japanese; literally "Witch's Express Mail") is his most easily accessible and the best place to start in watching his movies. "Kiki's Delivery Service" is an honest-to-goodness 'family' film. Children will adore it, and adults will find themselves enchanted with its charm, delightful characters, and the sheer beauty of the animation. I once watched the film with a room of twenty and thirty year-olds, a few young children, and an 84 year-old woman, and everybody LOVED it and cheered the heroine on at the end. Simply put, there are few films out there that are as loveable and likable as this.
In terms of story, it's an odd film: there's not much in the way of 'plot.' The film depends strongly on its heroine and the way she learns from the world and the people around her as she grows up. Kiki is a thirteen-year-old witch in training who leaves her home to start her required period of living on her own to discover her talents. Kiki and her cat sidekick Jiji jet out on her broom to a city (vaguely European, with traces of Paris, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam) and settle down at a friendly baker's shop, where Kiki establishes her own broom-powered delivery service (look out, Fed-Ex!). The story follows her troubles and joys, such as her friendship with a local boy inventor Tombo, her meeting with nature-loving artist Ursula, the tricks and difficulties of making deliveries, and the possible loss of her powers when she starts to lose belief in herself. It all climaxes in a thrilling action sequence that Superman would be proud of.
The movie leaps from wonderful sequence to wonderful sequence: Kiki's passionate farewell to her parents, her first flight over the city, Tombo's wild ride on his experimental flying bike, a dangerous flight through a flock of birds, the action-packed finale, and the many terrific meetings between Kiki and other charming characters. Watching Kiki learn and grow will have an affect on children young and old: everybody can take something away from the lessons Kiki learns about herself. And of course, the animation is dazzling; not only the sweeping visuals, but the nuances of the characters' expressions and movements.
The DVD offers the film in English and Japanese (oh, and Spanish too). If you watch the film in Japanese, you have the choice to watch it with two different sets of subtitles. One set is a literal translation of the Japanese script. The second are taken directly from the English version, and therefore have a distinctly "American" feel to them. I recommend when watching the Japanese version to stick with the literal subtitles. Since the English dub of the film often adds extra lines to characters (especially Jiji), it can be confusing to see subtitles pop up when nobody is speaking.
The Americanized dubbed version, however, is fantastic as well, and done with great respect and intelligence. The voice cast is superb: Kirsten Dunst as Kiki, Janeane Garofola as Ursula, and Debbie Reynolds as sweet old Miss Dora. But the scene-stealer is the late Phil Hartman as Kiki's smart-aleck cat companion, Jiji. Hartman is hysterical in every scene, totally nailing down the character, and his performance is a bittersweet reminder of what a great comedian we lost with his premature death. If you're going to watch the film with children or a large, general group of people, stick with the English version. It's quite an achievement, and just as enjoyable as the Japanese version.
There are some extras, although a lot less than you would expect for a 2-DVD set. John Lassiter (director of "Toy Story") introduces the film, and there's a short documentary about the English language actors. The second disc contains the whole film in storyboard and rough sketch form: this will really only be of interest to animators and hardcore Miyazaki fans.
Every family should have "Kiki's Delivery" service in their library, although the adults may find themselves returning to it as much as the children; and it's a great introduction to Miyazaki. Make sure you also watch "Castle in the Sky," "Spirited Away," and "Princess Mononoke" (the last one isn't really for kids, however).
5.0 out of 5 stars "We each need to find our own inspiration, Kiki.",
Before the wonderful animated films "Princess Mononoke" (1999) and "Spirited Away" (2001) were produced, director/writer Hayao Miyazaki co-wrote and directed the very charming 1989 animated film now known as "Kiki's Delivery Service". Based upon a book written by Eiko Kadono, the film was originally titled "Majo no takkyubin", which translates literally as "The Witches Express Mail". As the original implies, the film is about a young, 13-year-old witch named Kiki, who, like all other witches in the story, is required to spend one year away from home and live an independent life. At the beginning of the film, Kiki (whose English voice was done by Kirsten Dunst) is still at home and very excited about her impending year away. On the night of the full moon, Kiki decides that it is time to leave. Her parents (voices done by Kath Soucie and Jeff Bennett) watch Kiki rise into the air upon her broomstick with her talking black cat Jiji (voice of Phil Hartman, 1948-1998) and travel to a city along the ocean. There, Kiki eventually finds a place to live: a bakery owned by Osono (voice of Tress MacNeille), where she starts her own delivery service. Along the way, Kiki meets an artist named Ursula (voice of Janeane Garofalo), a boy named Tombo (voice of Matthew Lawrance) and an elderly woman named Miss Dora (voice of Debbie Reynolds).
Like many of Miyazaki's films, there is no "bad guy" in "Kiki's Delivery Service", but there are some exciting moments and the story tends to focus on self-discovery and interpersonal relationships. The film is very charming and is sure to entertain any child that watches it and adults will more than likely enjoy it too. The quality of animation isn't quite as spectacular as in Miyasaki's later animated films, but like looking at paintings by the same artist, "Kiki's Delivery Service" is in Miyasaki's beautiful artistic style. Overall, I rate "Kiki's Delivery Service" with 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it to everyone.
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming story,
Kiki is a delightful character - strong (mostly), friendly (mostly), and successful in the end. This is a real family movie, with enough in it to keep the adults interested.
The animation, of course, is magnificent. The backgrounds are filled with wonderful detail, and the main characters all stand on their own. Gigi is my personal favorite - except maybe for Jeff. Jeff's one brief scene shows more personality than some characters display in a whole movie.
"Delivery Service", centered on the hard-working young girl, is an interesting omen of Miyazaki's things to come. "Spirited Away" centers on the same kind of character. "Spirited Away" is a much more mature work, where the lead girl faces more complex situations. That difference surely comes from Miyazaki's growth as a director between the two movies. It may also be deliberate, if the two movies are intended for slightly different age groups.
This may be a little young for some viewers, but young viewers need movies too. This is a winner.
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD Review,
Kiki's Delivery Service is another masterwork in the canon of the greatest animation director in the world, Hayao Miyazaki. Disney's DVD presentation gives the picture an absolutely beautiful transfer, but is extremely spare in terms of extras. The film is a wonderful family film filled with innocence and charm. Someone said cynicism is the death of art and Kiki is a breath of fresh air to the cynical sarcasm of today's entertainment. The only drawback to the film is that some might find the film a ridiculous fantasy in regard to our violent modern world. As a college student I have found it hard to sell a film to my peer that concerns a teenage witch delivering gifts to friendly townspeople. Much of my generation will be turned off by the content. Even fans of Miyazaki might be put off in the difference between Kiki and Mononoke or Spirited Away. Others including myself love the film and continue to be touched by the universal feelings and details that Miyazaki evokes.
Picture quality on the DVD release is amazing. The gorgeous print of Miyazaki's breathtaking animation makes this one of the best looking DVDs in my collection. It has to be seen to be believed. The picture's aspect ratio is kept in 1:85:1, giving limited black for small tv users.
I'm not a sound expert but it sounded just fine. I don't have a home theater set-up, so I can't judge the audio. The Japanese track is vastly superior if only for the original Japanese version of the catching opening and the extremely different vocal performance of Jiji. This track is not in 5.1. The english dub features several celebrities and is fine, but stick with the Japanese. I guess there is Spanish, but I don't remember it being an option on the storyboard disc. The menu design is annoying in that you cannot switch the audio or subs on the fly. You have to go back to the menu and then resume play. Yellow subs are within the frame, not in black. This is good for widescreen tvs, but on my regular tv, it tends to blend with the image and cover stuff.
Extras is the weak spot on the disc. Lasseter's intros were cool the first time I heard one, but get tiring after more than one Miyazaki film. The film starts with Lasseter's comment if you change to Japanese and select "resume film" to start. The english cast interviews are nothing special, accept for a brief appearance of Toshio Suzuki and a very very young and cute Kirsten Dunst. Be sure to pause and catch the Jiji robe she wears in one scene!
I didn't finish watching the Japanese trailers, they run one after another, mostly clips with limited Japanese ad flair. Disc Two only has the storyboarding of the whole film with both soundtracks. The storyboards are more completely drawn then other Miyasaki films, but you cannot switch angles to a film comparison which made the Spirited Away disc interesting.
A total masterpiece of animation, Disney's disc has a mind blowing picture transfer with limited extras.
5.0 out of 5 stars A gentle masterpiece, lovable characters,
This is a special film - touching, sweet, exciting, endearing. Kiki, voiced by a young Kirsten Dunst, is one of the most engaging characters of all film. She is one tough witch. Not evil, not the slightest, but tough because she is strong-willed, determined and honorable. She is a great role model for any young girl, and any older guy like me, too.
I've watched this DVD four times in about a month, and it still brings roars of laughters and a stream of tears. The black cat, Gigi, is a brilliant counter to Kiki's sweetness. Voiced by the late Phil Hartman, Gigi is bored and reserved, a cat after all. But he is also just a little wise.
The great director, Hayao Miyazaki, conceived this film with almost no direct conflict, and yet there is real tension. Kiki sets out to become an adult and overcomes obstacles.
The lack of classic cartoon violence is notable -- there's a absolutely wonderful scene between Gigi the black cat and Jeff the old dog. In any other cartoon, they tear each other up. In this film, a wonderful thing happens.
Many wonderful things happen in Kiki. I highly recommend it for people of all ages.
5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite Miyazaki,
A Film by Hayao Miyazaki
As great as some of his other works are, this is probably my favorite of all the Miyazaki films that I've seen. It is one of the simplest stories, but I think that Miyazaki tells it extremely well. This animated movie is about a young witch who must move to another town to practice her craft as a solo apprentice witch.
Kiki (Kirsten Dunst) is turning 13 years old, and it is a tradition that when a witch turns thirteen she must go out on her own to practice in another city. She takes along her cat Jiji (Phil Hartman) and flies off on her broom to find a city by the ocean. After seeing a little bit of the town and interacting with some townspeople, Kiki doesn't know where to go or what special skill she has. All she can do is fly on her broom. In exchange for minimal help around the bakery, Kiki is taken in by a kind woman named Osono (Tress MacNeille). While living with Osono, Kiki decides that since her one skill seems to be flying on her broom she should open a delivery service. She does, and runs it out of Osono's home and bakery.
Kiki's Delivery Service is a beautiful, gentle movie about a young girl trying to find her place in the world as well as trying to figure out who she is as a witch and as a person. As I mentioned earlier, this is my favorite of all the Miyazaki films I've seen. It is just an easy going movie that is a lot of fun to watch, and is very engaging. All of the English voice acting is fantastic. I don't know if this movie is as technically proficient as Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke, but it is a very enjoyable movie to watch.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story, but watch it in Japanese, not English.,
This is a great story, but I definitely prefer to watch it in Japanese with English subtitles. There are subtle changes in the story between the two versions, and after watching the Japanese version, I find that I can't stand Phil Hartman's sarcastic Jiji. The English version has been "dumbed down" for American audiences, and Jiji is just one example. In the Japanese version, there is less "mood music" to tell the audience how they are supposed to feel, and the beauty of the animation is allowed to stand on its own. It's clear that American audiences have little tolerance for silence, but believe me, many scenes in this movie are much better without the added noise. The addition of English language credits (and text, as in the scene where Kiki's parents read her letter) to the DVD was poorly done, and these parts of the movie are noticeably fuzzy and lacking in contrast. It seems like Disney was in a rush to get this movie to American audiences, and did a mediocre job in everything. It's a good movie, and well worth watching in either version. Still, it would be generous to give the English language version 4 stars, but the original Japanese version easily deserves 5 stars.
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Amazing!,
Miyazaki's films never disappointed me, this one is not an exception. The movie, like Totoro, is a heartwarming one, it does not involve war, fighting, ghosts, whatsoever, which may be a disturbance to the hardcore war movie fans... but learning to appreciate different types of movies is important
This movie is released in Japan in 1989, a fairly old film if you ask me, but the drawings are no where near the line of "old", the background is amazingly detailed, every brick on the roof is drawn with care and attention, which tells you how much work Miyazaki has put into this film. The characters' facial expressions are reflected perfectly with the animation, even without the voice acting, you can tell how they are feeling by looking at their faces.
The story adds fantasy into reality, in an instrial world where cars and planes dominate, there are still witches and magics, which are believed to exist during the 16th century... this is past vs. present, magic vs. science scenario, but with Miyazaki's imagination, these seemingly contradicting factors melt and fuse together, giving the audience an experience they never had before... the story presents themes related to stepping into adolescence, living in a new environment independently, making new friends with a sincere heart, etc. As an environmentalist, Miyazaki also portrays the problem with polution caused by factories and car exhaustions in many parts of the film, which is a message people should understand.
The voice acting in the US version is great, some anime fans that prefer original Japanese soundtracks may find the English dub sucked, but keep in mind that English and Japanese are two different languages, you cannot simply expect something in Japanese to be fully translated into English, plus with the cultural differences, what is presented in the Japanese version may not be understood by the western audiences, so a few comments and lines added into the movie in the English dub don't hurt the overall storyline. From what I heard and experienced, I can tell the voice actors in the US version have put their feelings and emotions into the film, unlike some dull dubbings such as Gundam Wing. After all, Disney does not want to ruin its reputation.
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Kiki's Delivery Service (Special Edition) by Hayao Miyazaki (DVD - 2010)
CDN$ 35.99 CDN$ 28.88