Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

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Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

Words from the Writer

When I was little there use to be a video rental store my parents would always go to on Friday nights. I remember one night after my dad rented a few movies one of them being my all time favorite horror movie to date: Child’s Play, and Kiki’s Delivery Service–my mom picked this one out. After watching Child’s Play, my mom thought it would be a good idea to watch Kiki’s Delivery Service. I remember being so enticed and emotionally involved into the movie. My mind was blown by how everything moved and worked so well with the story. It all felt so nice and pretty. After watching the movie I remember watching it over and over again and even asking my parents to rent it every few months. So, now at the age of 21 does Kiki’s Delivery Service still hold up to what I thought about it when I was 3 years old?

Kiki’s Delivery Service is about a thirteen year old girl who’s a witch in training and must leave home with her talking cat Jiji. With family and friends around her on the night she’s leaving, her mother hands Kiki a broomstick that she used on the light that she left home. Kiki takes off, but not before bumping into a few trees. After finding a city that has no witch, and living an independent life,  she find out that fitting into a new community is hard, as she supports herself by running a delivery service.

Image Credit: IMDB

Movie production

Release Date:

29 July, 1989 (Japan)

1998 (US)


Hayao Miyazaki


JPY 800,000,000 (estimated)

Motion picture rating:

Rated G


Back in 1985 a novel by the same name was written by Eiko Kadono. In 1987, Group Fudosha asked Kadono’s publisher for the rights to make Kiki’s Delivery Service into a film and have either Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata from Studio Ghibli direct it. Both where busy at the time working on My Neighbor Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies. Miyazaki took on the role as producer and near the end of My Neighbor Totoro. Shortly after Katsuya Kondo (character design), Hiroshi Ohno (art director), and Sunao Katabuchi (director) were added to the project.

Studio Ghibili hired Nobuyuki Isshiki as a script writer, but Miyazaki found that the first draft was to dry and too divergent from his version of the film. Miyazaki wanted to get the setting as close as they could to the fictional county of northern Europe it took place in and decided to take the Senor staff to research landscapes in Stockholm and Gotland (a Swedish Island). After returning to Japan, Miyazaki and the creative team got to work by modifying the story, creating new ideas, and changing existing ones. The film was so different from the source book that Kadono was unhappy and almost caused the project to stop. Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki went to the author’s home to invite her to the studio, and after seeing the hard work they have put into the film she let them continue.

The rough draft of the screenplay was finished on June 1988 and presented on July 1988. At this time Miyazaki stated that he had decided to direct the film, due to him having had influenced the project to much. It was released on July 29, 1989, in Japan. Upon release the film made ¥2,170,000,000 ($18,000,000 USD).


Now to answer the question I asked earlier about it holding up to me now. The answer is yes, yes it does. See here’s the thing: It’s a family friendly movie with some things an adult would laugh at or find strange depending if they can take a joke or not. Personally, to me this movie is about finding a place where you belong when you leave your parents house and trying to overcome obstacles that come your way.  Everyone will come across the problem of not having inspiration or the drive to continue doing what they love whether it be drawing, writing, creating things, or in this case flying a broom. But over time you’ll find something that’ll make you want to continue.

Its hard for me to say anything bad about Kiki’s Delivery Service because in all reality there is nothing wrong with this movie. All of Miyazaki’s films are great works of art and tell stories in the best way possible. He and the people working at Studio Ghibli do such a great job in the art, character development, music, animation, and casting that make it hard to trash any movie that is released by them. Yeah, sure Disney dubbed it, but even then it was still a great film. And trust me, me giving any praise to Disney doesn’t happen often.

Final Thoughts

I’m skipping the Good and Bad because like I said I cant see anything wrong with the film whatsoever. Yeah, sure I’m being a little bias, but if you have something you didn’t like about it then please leave it in the comment section below. Any way, if you have not seen Kiki’s Delivery Service I would highly recommend you buy it. Don’t rent it, but actually go buy it trust me it’ll be money spent well. If you have seen it before then tell me what your thoughts about it are and how you first came across such a great movie.

Lets have some fun.

As a side note, if you’re curious on where you can get the book that Eiko Kadono wrote you can grab it off Amazon. Yeah its in Japanese, but there is also an English adaption of the book. Also if you have an anime or movie you’d like me to review let me know. I’ve been told by my boss man that we have some new people in the world of anime visiting our site and to that I say, “Welcome! My name is Martin, your avid anime goer and I am here to help you find new anime.”

Written by: Martin Porras

Just your avid Video Gamer and Anime watcher.

2 Comments Added

Join Discussion
  1. Christian Galvez December 30, 2016 | Reply

    It’s hard to really see Miyazaki films as ‘family friendly’. There’s so much depth in each film, I guess the animation style makes it a family film.

    • Martin Porras January 1, 2017 | Reply

      There as some that can be considered as ‘family friendly’ such as Kiki. I mean yea sure the plot is a little to deep for kids to understand, but I’m sure it’ll stick some how?

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