Kiki’s Delivery Service

When starting out the movie Kiki isn’t sure about herself, she won’t do anything without the help of her parents; she is definitely dependent upon them for all parts of her life. Even when she is headed off on to her journey, tradition says that witches are supposed to leave home at the age of 13 to find themselves and progress their powers, she last-minute decides to use her mom’s instead of the broom she made herself. Kiki’s leaving is her first step of becoming an independent. She is attempting to be self-sufficient.

Almost immediately after leaving Kiki realizes that she doesn’t have a skill to offer the town and that her flying skills aren’t up to par. She wobbles through the sky, with her radio blaring proving how much of a child she still is. Once into the town she immediately gets into trouble by almost causing a wreck, however Tombo (a boy who is overly interested in flying) distracts that cop thus allowing her to get off the hook. Luck starts to change for Kiki when she meets Osono a baker who gives her a place to live and helps her come up with the idea to start her own delivery service.

Suddenly the 13-year-old becomes more focused on working then making friends and being a kid. Kiki doesn’t realize this until she looses her witch powers, like being able to fly. Coincidentally the next day Kiki’s friend Ursula comes by for a visit and realizes the trouble that Kiki is currently facing. So Ursula decides that the best thing to do is for Kiki to come to her cottage in the woods. From this trip Kiki realizes the importance of being a kid, having fun, and believing in what she is doing.

Once back into the city Kiki finds out that her friend Tombo helium balloon launch went wrong and he is now flying through the city holding on to only a rope. Kiki heads to the city to try to help the rescue efforts and quickly realizes the only way she will be of any help is if she is able to fly. Her attempts to fly eventually lead to success and she is able to save Tombo thus proving that Ursula was right. She needed to believe.

            This film is constantly showing children the importance of having fun and actually being a kid. Children aren’t supposed to be worried about working until they are older, friendships are more important. Osono repeatedly tried to show this to Kiki but she wasn’t willing to listen since she craved independence. At the end of the movie Kiki learned that it was okay to depend on people while being independent. She also learned that friendship will withstand anything as Tombo showed her time after time.

            This is a great movie to watch with children of all ages. Even though younger children won’t understand the themes they will enjoy the bright colors, fun scenery, and interactions between the characters. Also it is a film without any violence, which is extremely hard to come by! This is a perfect film for preteens, at this age children don’t want to listen to their elders, but Kiki’s trials and tribulations show that elders do actually know what they are talking about. 

                        Kiki’s Delivery Service is both in Japanese and English. The Japanese version won numerous awards and was the highest grossing film in Japan in 1989.

 Posted By: Emily Beiting