Kiki's Delivery Service
1989
In director Hayao Miyazaki's gentle, animated adventure, young witch Kiki (voiced by Kirsten Dunst) moves away from her family to practice her craft, but she finds that making friends in a new town is difficult. With her cat, Jiji (voiced by Phil Hartman), in tow, Kiki puts her broom-flying skills to work for a baker's wife by starting an express delivery service. She quickly discovers, however, that she can't take her abilities for granted.

Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

For fans of the master's work, the only surprise here is how tame this film is: There is almost no conflict, no suspense, and no villains. Young kids are the ideal audience of course, but adults are left waiting for the other shoe to drop: Are the two old ladies going to pull a "Hansel & Gretel" with that wood-burning oven? When is the snotty witch going to return to challenge Kiki's powers? The film is cheerfully free of any real worries, as gentle and innocent as anything else Studio Ghibli has turned out (although the young protagonist shows her underwear even more than poor NausicaƤ). It's a fine film, spirited and funny and masterfully animated. Fans must not miss this gold standard of the master's filmography.

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