Kikis kleiner Lieferservice (1989)

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Kikis kleiner Lieferservice: Directed by Hayao Miyazaki. With Minami Takayama, Rei Sakuma, Kappei Yamaguchi, Keiko Toda. A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service.

“First of all, 10 points to Ghibli for Variety. Producing this and u0026#39;Grave of the Firefliesu0026#39; inside a year of each other would be like Disney doing u0026#39;Mary Poppinsu0026#39; and u0026#39;Judgement at Nurembergu0026#39; back to back.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWords that spring to mind after watching Kiki include u0026#39;delightfulu0026#39;, u0026#39;lightu0026#39;, u0026#39;bouyantu0026#39;, and so forth. Itu0026#39;s obvious Miyazaki has refined his craft considerably from the early movies, which somehow seemed a bit… I donu0026#39;t know – stuttery. Kiki, though just flows effortlessly. Combine this with the beautiful use of lighting and colour to produce that summertime, Mediterranean sort of feel, and Kiki is a movie that is just thoroughly uplifting, never getting bogged down in complexities or dark intrigues.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eUnfortunately – and this is the only thing holding it back from 4 stars from me – what it does get slightly bogged down in, is its own lightness. There were just a few sections where the lack of a villain, of any real action, of anything other than people being nice to each other, took the top 10% off what was otherwise a masterful movie. I suppose there were a few other flaws, too: some characters and situations which came into it were just not developed at all. And there was one moment that teetered on real poignancy – the old dog with what he thought was a stuffed toy – but it sort of didnu0026#39;t happen. Also allowing the cat – sorry, forgotten his name – to drop out of proceedings for most of the latter half the film, definitely removed a spark from the film (I canu0026#39;t believe I just complained about the LACK of a comic sidekick)u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eBTW, as someone who lives in Tasmania, which is allegedly the inspiration for much of the setting of this film, please come here by all means, but donu0026#39;t expect it to look like that. The bakery in Ross (central Tasmania) which supposedly inspired the one in the film is in one of the few Tasmanian towns that you _canu0026#39;t_ see the ocean from, and the general look of the movie is distinctly southern European, though I guess some of the rural shots look a bit Tasmanian. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWhatever the case, Miyazakiu0026#39;s attention to detail is, as usual, stunning. The town may have been cobbled together from his favourite bits of Italy, France, Tasmania and wherever else, but its nothing less than a labour of love nonetheless.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAnyway, 8 out of 10.”


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