Studio Ghibli have been one of the biggest animation studios of all time. The Japanese rival to Disney have been creating such phenomenal films and movies since they started in 1985, over thirty years ago. So in honour of that, they are releasing a whole new season to celebrate their movies!
Studio Ghibli Forever is a season of movies from the powerhouse studio including the likes of Spirited Away, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbour Totoro, and Kiki’s Delivery Service. The upcoming season will see these films and then some return.
Speaking of the spirtuous witch, Kiki’s Delivery Service returns to cinemas this weekend and it is certainly one of the best the studio have produced. No wait, perhaps one of the best animations of all time.
Kiki’s Delivery Service is about Kiki who is off on an adventure. Mandates require witches at the age of thirteen to spend a year completely independent in order to discover their power and their role in society. Heading off from her loving parents and her home, Kiki finds herself in the bustling town of Koriko. Insecure, she finds herself up against a few difficulties. Deciding that the only power that she is marginally good at is flying, she strikes up a great relationship with a baker and soon sets up her own delivery service. However, after meeting Tombo, a boy her age obsessed with aviation who has genuine respect for her, Kiki loses her powers. It is up to Kiki to rediscover herself and her place within the world.
Kiki’s Delivery Service was Ghibli’s first studio release since the pairing with Walt Disney. While some may find this a worrying aspect and attribute a lot of the cuddly cuteness to this relationship, it actually has no effect on Ghibli and famed Hayao Miyazaki’s ability to tell a beautiful story. It is highly simplistic, all about a witch and her supernatural powers, and in this essence, it really adds to the story. Though she may be able to fly and conjure potions, Kiki is a girl trying to grow and figure out exactly who she is.
A wonderful portrayal of a teenage girl that isn’t stereotypical or vapid. Instead, she is independent, towing a great line between balancing her own dreams and the relationship she has with Tombo. His entrance into her life does not become a final point, in fact, it detriments her. And the rest of the movie is Kiki’s struggle to regain her own control over her powers. It is a great message that, while not admittedly feminist, is Miyazaki’s celebration of reliance and inner strength in girls.
Add this to the excellent animation from the European-eqsue landscape of Koriko to the midnight flights that Kiki takes. This is a wholesome anime that is delightful on all levels will have you laughing and crying but all the while, smiling on Kiki’s journey. It is simple but it is the simplicity that makes Kiki appealing and relatable to everyone. It is simply magical.
KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE IS OUT 27th MAY