Saturday, January 18, 2014

FROM THE ASHES: Segment # 16

Everyone's Favorite Witch

    Ahh, Kiki's Delivery Service. One of director Hayao Miyazaki most endearing classics; comes a tale that can be described in one word: lovely. From it's beautiful and timeless score, to the coming of age story that we all know so well, this cast of lovable characters, romanticized and colorful scenery, makes this film still one of the most recognizable and renowned of Miyazaki's works. This 1989 masterpiece is not only directed by Miyazaki, but also written and produced by him as well. Its lively score is once again composed by Joe Hisashi, who gives the fantastical utopian euro-esque landscapes and scope a timeless feel. This film is based on the 1985 novel by Japanese children's author Eiko Kodono (1935-). This also represents the first collaborative effort between Studio Ghibli and the Walt Disney Company, releasing an English dub theatrically in 1998. Production of Kiki's Delivery Service was a hectic one, until all the pieces were in place. The animation crew wanted to give this film a unique but timeless feel, so they researched landscapes ranging from the Swedish iles to South Australia to get the kind of imagery that they wanted. Also, some changes from the original story were made for the script to feel more flowing as a single narrative, as Kodona's novel was considered more a group of short stories. Now, for the story we get in this film.

    I love this movie. Its!!! From the breathtaking beauty of the opening scene, this film just gives one a nostalgic and peaceful feeling. I personally find myself smiling from time to time for no particular reason; its just a feel-good kind of movie. For what on average would seem just an ordinary slice of life story, Kiki offers more. A lead character with relatable goals and fears; to succeed at being true to oneself, and the fearful feeling of directionlessness. The story is heartwarming. We as an audience are swept up with Kiki as she flies her broom into the big world, and follow her in her adventures. The secondary cast of characters are also wonderful. With an excellent script, brilliantly adapted and performed, these elements only add to the quality here. I myself, adore the English dub, starring Kristen Dunst and the late Phil Hartman ( in his last performance), as Kiki's cat Jiji. Any of the changes for the personalities of the characters based on the English script are completely fine and enjoyable to me, so I can't say I mind them. All in all, this was a well-received film by audiences and critics alike, grossing $18 million in 1989. Siskel and Ebert also gave it a "two thumbs up!", as well as receiving a 100 percent rating on Rotten Adventure, fun and fantasy, with a heap of heart, this is not only a great film, but definitely one the whole family can enjoy. Check it out!
From The Ashes, V.~

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