‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’: coming of age with a fantasy twist
To preface this article, I would like to apologize to Jacinta, a beautiful and perfect woman who recommended another movie this week for review. I had to push back that review to next week because it is not every day that you get an opportunity to watch “Kiki’s Delivery Service.”
And I love me some Kiki.
Kiki is an Actual Perfect Child™ who is adorable, clumsy, brave, and special. Also, she’s a witch.
In Kiki’s world, everything else is basically the same as our world except that witches send their children off into the blue yonder at thirteen years old. They do this so the kids can learn trades in witchcraft and stuff like that – not child abandonment reasons. Every single extra special girl goes out on her own when she turns thirteen to go find a town (which must have no other witches because never mind being social) and learn a magical trade to help said town.
Kiki’s parents try to put off getting rid of their burst of sunlight for as long as possible but eventually have to give in. They send off the girl who can hardly fly with her cat on a broom.
This goes well; she hits all the trees accidentally and they make a great bell noise, so she’s an ace at flying.
On her way to find another town she runs into another witch, also thirteen. This girl looks like she went to the closing sale of a Claire’s. I’m not really sure why it was so important that she had the unique character design of, “She who hit the jewelry rack, overloaded, then screwed up her hair,” because she’s only in this movie for five seconds. Her whole entire point is to make Kiki feel bad about herself and then give the young precious witch an idea of what type of town she’d like to live in.
Unimportant plot device flies off and Kiki decides to sleep in a train.
This goes okay.
Kiki wakes up to the most beautiful town I’ve ever seen. Like absolutely gorgeous, pin it to your board for your fellow Pinteresters to see that it was perfect. It kinda looked like Boston, but more like the Boston people imagine and not the real dirty city of squalor that is actual Boston.
So of course, Kiki’s like, “I want to live here because it is nice and there is the ocean – wow.” In comparison, Kiki just came from what looks like a sad trash pile that gets periodically burnt.
Kiki is poor and homeless for about a hot minute. She gets into trouble with law enforcement and meets a 0/10 not-babe dude. She recognizes that he is not a babe and kind annoying, so she reacts accordingly. However, the scene and what was said don’t really matter.
What matters is that Kiki is not about Tombo.
Which is okay, because I’m not either. He looks like David Bowie if David Bowie was unattractive and wore unappealing stripes.
Being homeless, Kiki has tons of time on her hands and decides to deliver this baby pacifier for this nice lady. The nice lady is like, “Oh, thank you for doing that. I see you are a witch. Would you like to live in my attic and eat breakfast with me, random stranger girl who had legal problems like five minutes ago? I’m very lonely.”
And Kiki is like, “Yes.”
It turns out that while Kiki is full of kindness, consideration and magic, this lady is all full of babies. She is pregnant to the point where it’s a little concerning, but I guess when you consider the art style, it’s not overly concerning?
Kiki lives in this lady’s attic and starts delivering stuff to villages, like a delivery service owned by Kiki.
Deliveries by Kiki or something; there’s no good name for that.
Kiki delivers toys and gets her cat beat up, she delivers food to bratty horrible girls who need to go away and she delivers food to Tombo.
There’s also a side plot about Tombo asking Kiki to a party because he has feels for her and junk. Then Kiki shows up late and doesn’t catch him. But you know what she does catch? A cold because she flew super-fast in the rain and took no breaks to be with this 0/10 babe.
This cold must be absolutely horrible, because Kiki straight up asks the lady if she is dying from the cold – if this is the end of days. And the pregnant lady is like, “Naw, you good fam, go to sleep lil Satan, you will be fine tomorrow.”
Kiki seems to doubt this. But lo, she wakes up and is fine tomorrow. And the pregnant lady is like, “Cool and all that – you recovered. I have a delivery for you to do.” Kiki gives her a happy look and the lady is like, “You’re gonna be twice as happy when you go because I am wing manning for you.”
So Kiki goes and delivers this package to the literal worst kid (Tombo), who is basically all up on her grill. She’s feeling it for a second, getting close and getting blushy – you know how it is. Then his friends turn up and it turns out they’re all horrible people. Kiki knows they are horrible people because there is one horrible girl that she had a bad experience with one time and that means that everyone is horrible. So Kiki is like, “Bye.”
Kiki hates Tombo again, which is understandable (he only likes her because she can fly and he is super about planes). Anyway, she hates him so much that she ends up harming herself and losing her power, which is great because I also find self-destruction via a combination of hatred for another person and insecurities to be relatable.
Kiki is not magic anymore and can’t talk to her cat, which just about brought me over to health and counselling services to ask about why fictional cats matter to me so much. I was bawling; I haven’t seen this movie in forever and I am a very emotional person. Not a good time.
So, while Kiki was delivering once, she met this lady who lived in the woods alone. She’s not a witch, but I understand if you think she is. It’s very Baba Yaga to live alone in the woods, so I one hundred percent understand thinking this lady is magic. She is an artist though, which is not magic but cool.
My chain of careers that I want goes something like: taste tester, professional eater, actual witch, tarot card reader, artist. Personally I feel like everyone’s list is a little like that, so this lady was destined to be cool in everyone’s eyes.
Cool art lady takes Kiki to the woods and is like, “I think you lost your magic because you have artist’s block, only with magic. And, you know, inspired by a really stupid not attractive annoying boy that nobody really likes. Maybe get over that.” Only, you know, without the bits about Tombo being the worst.
They’re implied, though, at least to me.
Meanwhile, Tombo is hanging out in a blimp because he is super about flying and immediately, concerningly into everything that flies. But because Tombo is dumb, even blimps are like, “Man, screw this guy.”
So the blimp starts having some troubles, crashing into stuff. You know, blimp stuff.
Tombo is hanging on for life because everyone else was cool enough to stay in the blimp.
But not Tombo. Because Tombo sucks.
Tombo drops a police car and probably kills five people, but Kiki gets her powers back through the power of “true convenient plot device love.” She ends up saving the literal worst person in the world.
And now that she has her magic back, I hold my breath because some of the dubs of the fillm don’t do it, and I really want a happy ending.
The moment comes. I listen to see if I have hit the seven percent chance that this is the right dub.
The cat speaks to Kiki and I burst back into tears – this is the right dub. This is the world I want to live in, not one of the worlds where she can’t talk to her cat at the end.
Just a really good coming of age movie with fantasy elements.
1/1 speaking cats.
0/10 Tombos (a good rating).