Reviewed by Stephen Hornbrook
Discover Kiki’s Delivery Service, a fantastic coming-of-age tale full of magic, adventure and self-discovery from the sensational imagination of Academy Award® winning director Hayao Miyazaki (2002, Best Animated Feature Film Spirited Away). And now you can explore even more of Kiki’s amazing world through a never-before-seen bonus feature – exclusively in this 2-Disc Special Edition!
Kiki is an enterprising young girl who must follow tradition to become a full-fledged witch. Venturing out with only her black cat, Jiji, Kiki flies off for the adventure of a lifetime. Landing in a far-off city, she sets up a high-flying delivery service and begins a wonderful experience of independence and responsibility as she finds her place in the world.
- 2013, Color, rated: PG-13, 1 hours 13 Minutes
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- English DTS-HD MA 2.0
- Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Phil Hartman, Janeane Garafalow
- Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
- Violence: No
- Sex: No
- Language: No
I have seen a number of Miyazaki films, but had never gotten around to one of his first releases, Kiki’s Delivery Service. This light hearted film about a young witch is fun and enjoyable. While certainly a different experience, the english dubbed version featuring Kirsten Dunst and the late Phil Hartman is pretty dang good. They manage to capture some of the over-the-top inflection of the original Japanese actors. Everything from the artistic style, to the humor are distinctly Japanese and it is wonderful to enjoy a different culture’s take on a classic coming of age story. Kiki may be a witch, but she deals with the same issues everyone else does- acceptance and her place in the world.
It is interesting to see a fully hand drawn movie after the influx of CG animation as the artwork is simply beautiful. I’m glad to see Disney putting some effort into it’s Studio Ghibli releases and these high definition makeovers will help to preserve this artwork for future generations to come.
This new Blu-ray release by Disney delivers this classic in excellent form, and fans of anime, especially Miyazaki’s work, should not miss Kiki’s Delivery Service.
The distinct style of a Miyazaki film comes shining through in this pristine Blu-ray transfer. The texture of the painted backgrounds is flawlessly represented and the inked animations are vivid and crisp.
Even though the soundtrack is limited to 2.0 DTSHD-MA, vocals are dynamic, clear, and full bodied. The vibrant, upbeat score by Joe Hisaishi sounds excellent on this disc. The soundstage is wide and deep, letting the classic Hisaishi theme shine.
Most of the extras are from the older DVD release, but there’s still a solid collection of behind the scenes material.
New Bonus – Ursula’s Painting – a musical montage of Ursula’s Painting. The painting was created by junior high school students and used by Director Miyazaki for the film.
Classic Bonus –
Introduction by John Lasseter
Original Japanese Storyboards
Original Japanese Trailers
Behind the Microphone – English voice cast members Kirsten Dunst, Janeane Garofalo and Phil Hartman give voice to their on-screen characters
Creating Kiki’s Delivery Service – Director Miyazaki discusses how he created the world of the movie
Kiki & Jiji – Producer Toshio Suzuki reveals how Director Miyazaki based the character of Kiki on Suzuki’s teenage daughter
Flying with Kiki & Beyond – The director discusses how he approached Kiki flying
Producer’s Perspective: Collaborating with Miyazaki – The producer talks about how he worked with the director through the years
The Locations of Kiki – The real world locations that influenced the look of the film are revealed
Scoring Miyazaki – Composer Joe Hisaishi talks about his approach in writing the music.