Kiki's Delivery Service (魔女の宅急便 Majo no Takkyūbin?, translated "Witch's Delivery Service") is a 1989 Japanese animated fantasy film produced, written, and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Eiko Kadono, an author of children's literature. The film stars the voices of Minami Takayama, Rei Sakuma and Kappei Yamaguchi, and tells the story of a young witch (Takayama) as she spends a year in a town on her own while using her magical abilities to earn her living.
According to Miyazaki, the movie touches on the gulf that exists between independence and reliance in Japanese teenage girls.
The film was released on July 22, 1989, and won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize. It was the first Studio Ghibli film released under the partnership between The Walt Disney Company and Studio Ghibli; Disney recorded an English dub in 1997, which premiered theatrically in the United States at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 23, 1998. It was released on home video in the U.S. on November 10, 1998.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Kiki is a 13-year-old young witch living in a village where her mother is the resident herbalist. Traditionally, witches live a year alone when they reach the age of 13. One night, Kiki takes off for the big city with her best friend Jiji, a talkative black cat.
Kiki settles in Koriko, a port city. After a hard start, mostly because of her own insecurity, Kiki makes friends and finds a place to stay. However, she discovers that her only skill as a witch is her ability to fly on a broom, at which she is still not fully proficient. To support herself, she begins a delivery service at Gütiokipänja Bakery, a bakery owned by Osono and her husband Fukuo.
During her time in Koriko, Kiki experiences setbacks, and she must contend with adolescent worries. She is pursued by Tombo, a local boy crazy about aviation who has developed a genuine respect for her flying power and a strong liking for Kiki as a girl in general. Kiki eventually warms up to him, but after a brief encounter with Tombo's friends, some of whom she had met earlier under unfavourable circumstances, Kiki loses her powers to fly and speak with Jiji. She goes into depression. However, one of her friends, a young painter named Ursula, invites her to stay in her forest cottage, where she analyzes Kiki's current crisis as "some form of artist's block." Since many things had not gone as hoped for, Kiki is experiencing such a period, which resulted in the loss of her powers; but if she finds a new purpose, she will be able to reclaim what she has lost.
Regaining her spirit, Kiki returns to the city. While visiting one of her customers, she witnesses an airship (dirigible) accident on the television. A strong and sudden gust of wind blows in the area. Tombo is lifted into the air and blown away hanging from the dirigible. Kiki pushes herself to regain her flying ability and uses a street-sweeper's push broom. Kiki is able to regain her power and rescue Tombo.
Later, Kiki becomes a local celebrity and flies in formation with Tombo on his human-powered aircraft, a propeller-rigged bicycle. Kiki sends a letter to her parents about gaining confidence through difficulties and that she has decided to make Koriko her new home.
Cast[edit | edit source]
Production[edit | edit source]
Development of Kiki’s Delivery Service began in the spring of 1987, when Group Fudosha asked the publishers of Eiko Kadono’s book if they could adapt it into a featured film directed by Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata of Studio Ghibli. Due to the approval of Miyazaki’s film My Neighbor Totoro and Takahata’s film Grave of the Fireflies for production, neither Miyazaki nor Takahata was available to take up the direction of the project at the moment.
Miyazaki took up the role as producer of the film while the position of director was still unfilled. During the start of the film's production and the nearing of Totoro's completion, members of Studio Ghibli were being recruited for senior staff for Kiki’s Delivery Service. The character design position was given to Katsuya Kondo, who was working with Miyazaki on Totoro. Hiroshi Ohno, who would later work on projects such as Jin-Roh, was hired as art director, partly because he was requested by Kazuo Oga, who was part of Miyazaki's Totoro team as well.
Although many positions had been filled, the project still lacked a director. Miyazaki, busy with Totoro, looked at many directors himself, but found none he thought fit to articulate the project. Finally they found a director, Sunao Katabuchi (which was to be his directorial debut) who had previously worked with Miyazaki on Sherlock Hound. Ghibli hired Nobuyuki Isshiki to write the script but Miyazaki was dissatisfied by the first draft, finding it dry and too divergent from his own vision of the film. Studio Ghibli rejected this draft of the screenplay as a result.
Eventually, when Totoro was finished and released, Miyazaki began to look more closely at Kiki’s Delivery Service. He started by writing a screenplay himself, and since the novel was based in a fictional country in northern Europe, he and the senior staff went to research landscapes and other elements of the setting. Their main stops were Stockholm and the Swedish island of Gotland. Eventually Miyazaki took over as director when Katabuchi got intimidated.
The original Japanese opening theme is "Rouge no Dengon" (ルージュの伝言 Rūju no Dengon?, "Message of Rouge"), and the ending theme is "Yasashisa ni Tsutsumareta nara" (やさしさに包まれたなら? "Wrapped in Kindness"), both performed by Yumi Matsutoya (credited as Yumi Arai).
Inspiration for Koriko[edit | edit source]
Miyazaki has noted that the real town of Visby in Gotland, Sweden is the main visual inspiration for the city. Fictional Koriko is much larger than Visby. Generally the buildings and shops of Koriko have the look of Stockholm, or the old town of a Central European city such as Munich.
The film is set in an idealised trouble-free northern Europe . The name of the city is not actually used in the movie (except in writing on the side of a briefly visible bus) and it is often spelled "Coriko" in publications from Ghibli.
Upon their return to Japan, Miyazaki and the creative team worked on conceptual art and character designs. Miyazaki began significantly modifying the story, creating new ideas and changing existing ones. Majo no Takkyūbin, the original children's book by Eiko Kadono that the movie was based on, is very different from Miyazaki's finished film. Kadono's novel is more episodic, consisting of small stories about various people and incidents Kiki encounters while making deliveries. Many of the more dramatic elements, such as Kiki losing her powers or the airship incident at the film's climax, were not present in the original story. Miyazaki made these changes to give the film more of a story, and make the film about the hardships that Kiki faces while growing up; he remarked, "As movies always create a more realistic feeling, Kiki will suffer stronger setbacks and loneliness than in the original".
As a result, Kadono was unhappy with the changes that were made between the book and film, to the point that the project was in danger of being shelved at the screenplay stage. Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki, the producer of Ghibli, went to the author's home and invited her to the film's studio. After her visit to the studio, Kadono decided to let the project continue. Miyazaki finished the rough draft of the screenplay in June 1988, and then presented it in July 1988. It was at this time that Miyazaki revealed that he had decided to direct the film, because he had influenced the project so much.
The word Template:Nihongo3 in the Japanese title is a trademark of Yamato Transport, though it is used today as a synonym for Template:Nihongo3. The company not only approved the use of its trademark, though its permission was not required under Japanese trademark laws,but also enthusiastically sponsored the film, as the company uses a stylized depiction of a black mother cat carrying her kitten as its corporate logo.
Kiki's Delivery Service was originally intended to be a 60-minute special, but expanded into a feature film running 102 minutes after Miyazaki completed storyboarding and scripting it.
Releases[edit | edit source]
The first official English dub of Kiki's Delivery Service was produced by Carl Macek of Streamline Pictures at the request of Tokuma Shoten for Japan Airlines' international flights. Kiki was portrayed by voice actress Lisa Michelson. This dub is only available in the Ghibli Laserdisc Box Set.
Kirsten Dunst voiced Kiki in the 1998 English dub. The English dub was also Canadian actor Phil Hartman's last voice-acting performance (as Jiji) before his death; the dub is dedicated to his memory. Critics generally praised the dub, though some objected to script changes compared to the original Japanese.
In Spain, Kiki was renamed "Nicky", and the film re-titled Nicky la aprendiz de bruja (Nicky the Apprentice Witch), because in Castilian Spanish, the phonetically similar "quiqui" is commonly used in a slang expression: "echar un quiqui" which means "to have intercourse".
Differences between versions[edit | edit source]
There are a number of additions and embellishments to the film's musical score, and there are several lavish sound effects over sections which are silent in the Japanese original. For example, compare the "wild geese" adventure in both versions. The extra pieces of music, composed by Paul Chihara, ranged from soft piano music to a string-plucked rendition of Edvard Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King.
The original opening and ending theme songs were replaced by two new songs, "Soaring" and "I'm Gonna Fly", written and performed for the English movie by Sydney Forest.
The depiction of the cat, Jiji, changed significantly. In the Japanese version, Jiji is voiced by Rei Sakuma, while in the English version Jiji is performed by Saturday Night Live alumnus Phil Hartman, and also has more of a wisecracking demeanor. In Japanese culture, cats are usually depicted with feminine voices, whereas in American culture their voices are more gender-specific. A number of Hartman's lines exist where Jiji simply says nothing in the original (such as in the scene where Jiji approaches Lili along the top of the wall). Jiji's personality is notably different between the two versions, showing a more cynical and sarcastic attitude in the 1998 English version as opposed to cautious and conscientious, like in the original Japanese.
In the original Japanese script, Jiji loses his ability to communicate with Kiki permanently, but in the American version a line is added which implies she is once again able to understand him. Miyazaki has said that Jiji is the immature side of Kiki, and this implies that Kiki, by the end of the original Japanese version, has matured beyond talking to her cat.
More minor changes to appeal to the different teenage habits of the day include Kiki drinking hot chocolate instead of coffee and referring to "cute boys" instead of to "the disco".
The English subtitled script used for the original VHS subbed release and the later DVD release, more closely adheres to the Japanese script, but still contains a few alterations. It is based on the original Streamline dub, and has resulted in several additions from that dub to migrate into the script regardless of whether they are present or not (such as Herbert Morrison's "Oh the humanity!" line during the blimp sequence). This came about because Tokuma gave Disney the script for the original dub, thinking it was an accurate translation, believing this was the script that Disney worked on.
Third English version[edit | edit source]
Kiki's Delivery Service received a new Region 1 DVD in March 2010, the same day Miyazaki's Ponyo became available on American home video. This English audio production is something of a combination of the original Japanese version (which is fairly minimalist and has basic sound effects) and the 1998 Disney English audio production (which has newer sound effects, some new incidental music, and the many entirely new lines of dialog, particularly from Hartman).
In the 2010 version, some of the 1998 changes and additions remain and some are gone, reverting to the original audio production. The opening and closing songs from the English version have been changed to the original Japanese pop songs. Hartman's final line which implied that Jiji could talk again by the end of the story has been removed.
Manga[edit | edit source]
Live-action film[edit | edit source]
It was announced that a live-action film adaptation starring Fuka Koshiba is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2014. The film will be based on the first 2 novels.
Disney was also interested in its own live-action take on Kiki in 2005, but no developments have emerged since then. Jeff Stockwell was assigned to the script, and Don Murphy was going to be the producer.
Musical[edit | edit source]
In 1993, a musical version of the story was produced. Yukio Ninagawa wrote the script and Kensuke Yokouchi directed the show. The role of Kiki was originated by Youki Kudoh and the role of Tombo was originated by Akira Akasaka. Akasaka was replaced by Katsuyuki Mori (of SMAP fame) within the year. There was a cast recording produced by the original cast, and the show was revived in 1995 and 1996.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Kiki's Delivery Service premiered on July 29, 1989 in Japanese theaters; the total distribution receipts were ¥2,170,000,000 ($18,172,849.38), proving to be quite a financial success and the highest grossing film in Japan of 1989. The Japanese DVD was the best selling anime DVD for February 7, 2001.
Upon the release of the English dub of Kiki's Delivery Service by Disney which theatrical premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 23, 1998. On November 10, 1998, it was released to VHS video, becoming the 8th-most-rented title at Blockbuster stores during the first week of its availability. This video release also sold over a million copies. A few weeks later, Disney released another VHS of the movie, this time with the original Japanese soundtrack and with both English and Japanese subtitles. A Laserdisc version of the English dub was also available at this time. The Region 1 DVD was released on August 16, 2005, alongside Spirited Away and Castle in the Sky. It was again reissued on Region 1 DVD in March 2010 along with My Neighbor Totoro and Castle in the Sky as a tribute to the home release of Ponyo. The version of this 2010 release was slightly edited to match the original Japanese version.
The conservative Christian group Concerned Women for America boycotted Kiki’s Delivery Service screenings and released a press release on May 28, 1998 titled “Disney Reverts to Witchcraft in Japanese Animation”. Calling for a boycott of The Disney Company, the group said the company “is still not family friendly, but continues to have a darker agenda”.
On September 4, 1998, Entertainment Weekly rated it as Video of the Year, and on September 12, 1998, it was the first video release to be reviewed as a normal film on Siskel and Ebert rather than on the "Video Pick of the Week" section. Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it “two thumbs up” and Ebert went on to rank it as one of the best animated films of 1998.
Accolades[edit | edit source]
|1990||12th Anime Grand Prix||Best Anime||Won||Kiki's Delivery Service|
|Best Female Character||Won||Kiki|
|Best Anime Theme Song||Won||Yasashisa ni Tsutsumaretanara|
|44th Mainichi Film Award||Best Animated Film||Won||Kiki's Delivery Service|
|Kinema Junpo Awards||Readers' Choice Award||Won||Kiki's Delivery Service|
|13th Japan Academy Prize||Special Award||Won||Kiki's Delivery Service|
|Popularity Award||Won||Kiki's Delivery Service|
|7th Annual Golden Gross Award||Gold, Japanese Film||Won||Kiki's Delivery Service|
|The Movie's Day||Special Achievement Award||Won||Kiki's Delivery Service|
|The Erandole Award||Special Award||Won||Kiki's Delivery Service|
|Japan Cinema Association Award||Best Film||Won||Kiki's Delivery Service|
|Best Director||Won||Hayao Miyazaki|
|Japanese Agency of Cultural Affairs||Best Film||Won||Kiki's Delivery Service|
|Tokyo Metropolitan Cultural Honor||Best Film||Won||Kiki's Delivery Service|
|7th Annual Money Making Director's Award||Best Director||Won||Hayao Miyazaki|
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- Nausicaa.net The Hayao MIYAZAKI Web. The Hopes and Spirit of Contemporary Japanese Girls By Hayao Miyazaki 1989. Retrieved on 2007-01-05.
- "Majo No Takkyûbin". www.bcdb.com, May 13, 2012
- Robogeek's Report on Miyazaki and KiKi!!! by Robogeek May 28, 1998. Retrieved on 2007-01-04.
- Nausicaa.net English VHS Video release. Retrieved on 2007-03-25.
- The Art of Kiki's Delivery Service: A Film by Hayao Miyazaki, "Part One: In the Beginning", Page 8. VIZ Media LLC; 1 edition (2006-05-09) ISBN 1-4215-0593-2, ISBN 978-1-4215-0593-0. Retrieved on 2007-01-05.
- Nausicaa.net My Neighbor Totoro Frequently Asked Questions. "I heard that it was double-featured with 'Grave of the Fireflies' in Japan. Is this true?" Retrieved on 2007-01-05.
- Nausicaa.net Kiki's Delivery Service Frequently Asked Questions. "I heard that the name of the bakery was supposed to be a joke. Is it?" Retrieved on 2007-01-06.
- Nausicaa.net Kiki's Delivery Service Frequently Asked Questions. "I heard that Miyazaki was not supposed to direct 'Kiki'. Is it true?" Retrieved on 2007-01-05.
- Template:Fr icon La forêt des Oomus Kiki, la petite sorcière Koriko. Retrieved on 2007-01-05.
- Hayao Miyazaki. Creating Kiki's Delivery Service (DVD). Disney Presents Studio Ghibli.
- The Art of Kiki's Delivery Service: A Film by Hayao Miyazaki, Part Two, Art Of Animated Film, Page 32. VIZ Media LLC; 1 edition (2006-05-09) ISBN 1-4215-0593-2, ISBN 978-1-4215-0593-0. Retrieved on 2007-04-22.
- The Art of Kiki's Delivery Service: A Film by Hayao Miyazaki, Part One, In The Beginning, Page 11. VIZ Media LLC; 1 edition (2006-05-09) ISBN 1-4215-0593-2, ISBN 978-1-4215-0593-0. Retrieved on 2007-01-02.
- Nausicaa.net's FAQ on Kiki's Delivery Service Retrieved on 2007-04-21.
- Institute of Intellectual Property "Overview of Japanese Trademark Law by Dr. Shoen Ono." Retrieved on 2007-02-11.
- IBM e-business: jStart Program: Case studies: Web services: Yamato Transport Group.. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved on 2007-01-04.
- The Art of Kiki's Delivery Service: A Film by Hayao Miyazaki, Part One, In The Beginning, Page 12. VIZ Media LLC; 1 edition (2006-05-09) ISBN 1-4215-0593-2, ISBN 978-1-4215-0593-0. Retrieved on 2007-01-05.
- Kiki's Delivery Service News-Old
- FAQ // Kiki's Delivery Service // Nausicaa.net
- RevolutionSF Kiki's Delivery Service Reviewed by Kevin Pezzano April 27, 2003. Retrieved on 2007-01-05.
- A Comparative Analysis Of Requests in Majo no Takkyūbin and Kiki's Delivery Service
- Otaku World Reviews: Kiki's Delivery Service from Disney Reviewed by Jennifer Diane Reitz. Retrieved on 2007-01-02.
- Stomp Tokyo Video Reviews – Kiki's Delivery Service
- Helen McCarthy Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation pub Stone Bridge Press (Berkeley, CA) 1999 ISBN 1-880656-41-8 pages 144 and 157
- The Art of Kiki's Delivery Service: A Film by Hayao Miyazaki, Part Four, The Complete Script Of The Film by Hayao Miyazaki, Page 205. VIZ Media LLC; 1 edition (2006-05-09) ISBN 1-4215-0593-2, ISBN 978-1-4215-0593-0. "Central Park. Jiji weaves his way through the crowd. Cameras everywhere. Kiki amazed by the flood of camera flashes. Jiji skips into the frame, leaps onto her shoulder and meows over her shoulder. KIKI: Jiji! JIJI: Meow – Of course, his voice will never return. but it doesn't matter anymore... Kiki smiles and rubs her cheek against his." Retrieved on 2007-01-02.
- The Art of Kiki's Delivery Service: A Film by Hayao Miyazaki, Part Two, Art Of Animated Film, Page 45. VIZ Media LLC; 1 edition (2006-05-09) ISBN 1-4215-0593-2, ISBN 978-1-4215-0593-0. Retrieved on 2007-02-11.
- Original Japanese script at . Line in Japan is "But there'll be a disco there, won't there?" This line is not present in the English dub. Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
- Nausicaa.net Kiki's Delivery Service FAQ Q: Is there an English subtitled version of "Kiki"? Retrieved on 2007-03-04
- Review of 2010 DVD for Kiki's Delivery Service
- "Kiki’s Delivery Service To Get A Live-Action Film Adaptation", Japanverse, April 23, 2013.
- Kako haikyū shūnyū jōi sakuhin 1989-nen (in Japanese). Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan. Retrieved on February 5, 2011.
- Online Ghibli Kiki's Delivery Service: Review/Synopsis by Doraneko Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
- Kiki's Delivery Service (Majo no Takkyubin) by Marc Hairston November, 1998.. Archived from the original on 2007-08-20. Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
- Kiki's Delivery Service on DVD from Criterion: A Pipe Dream? by Steve Brandon.[dead link]Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
- Nausicaa.net Reviews & Articles Archive "Houchi Sinbun, September 29, 1998". Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
- Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation by Helen McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, September 1, 1999, ISBN 1-880656-41-8, ISBN 978-1-880656-41-9, Page 143. Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
- Nausicaa.net Majo no Takkyubin Kiki's Delivery Service News (Old) May 28, '98 Headline. Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
- "Disney Reverts to Witchcraft in Japanese Animation" by Concerned Women for America archived on Internet Mutual Aid Society. Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
- Nausicaa.net Reviews & Articles Archive Siskel and Ebert, September 13, 1998. "Siskel: "Two thumbs up for 'Kiki's Delivery Service'. A delightful animated feature new in video stores." Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
- Nausicaa.net Reviews & Articles Archive Chicago Sun-Times, December 27, 1998 by Roger Ebert. Retrieved on 2007-01-03.
- Rotten Tomatoes Kiki's Delivery Service (1989). Retrieved on 2008-09-06.
- 第12回アニメグランプリ (in Japanese). Japan Academy Awards Association (May 1990). Retrieved on 2012-05-13.
- List of award-winning films at the 13th Japan Academy Awards (in Japanese). Japan Academy Awards Association. Retrieved on 2012-05-13.
- Credits // Kiki's Delivery Service // Nausicaa.net
[edit | edit source]
- Kiki's Delivery Service page at Nausicaa.net
- Kiki's Delivery Service at Rotten Tomatoes
- Majo No Takkyubin at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Kiki's Delivery Service (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Kiki's Delivery Service at the Internet Movie Database
- Kiki's Delivery Service at All Movie Guide
Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro (1977) • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) • Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986) • My Neighbor Totoro (1988) • Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) • Porco Rosso (1992) • Princess Mononoke (1997) • Spirited Away (2001) • Howl's Moving Castle (2004) •
On Your Mark (1995)
Hols: Prince of the Sun (1968) • Puss 'n Boots (anime) (1969) • Flying Ghost Ship (1969) • Animal Treasure Island (1971) • Ali-Baba and the 40 Thieves (anime) (1971) • Yuki no Taiyo (1972) • Panda Go Panda (1972–1973) • The Castle of Cagliostro (1977) • Chie the Brat (1981) • Gauche the Cellist (1982) • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) • Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986) • The Story of Yanagawa's Canals (1987) • Grave of the Fireflies (1988) • My Neighbor Totoro (1988) • Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) • Only Yesterday (1991) • Porco Rosso (1992) • Ocean Waves (1993) • Pom Poko (1994) • Whisper of the Heart (1995) • Princess Mononoke (1997) • My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) • Spirited Away (2001) • The Cat Returns (2002) • Howl's Moving Castle (2004) • Tales from Earthsea (2006)• Ponyo (2008) • The Secret World of Arrietty (2010) From Up On Poppy Hill (2011) • The Wind Rises (2013) • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013) • When Marnie Was There (2014) •
The Sky-Colored Seed (1992) • Nandarou (1992) • On Your Mark (1995) • Ghiblies (2000) • Ghiblies Episode II (2002) • Mei and the Kittenbus (2003) • Koro's Big Day Out (2003) • The Whale Hunt (2003) • The Invention of Destruction in the Imaginary Machines (2004) • Imaginary Flying Machines (2004) • The Ornithopter Story: Fly to the Sky Hiyodiro Tengu! (2004) • The Day I Harvested a Star (2006) • House-hunting (2006) • Monmon the Water Spider (2006) • The Night of Taneyamagahara (2006)
Masashi Andō • Hideaki Anno • Mamoru Hosoda • Megumi Kagawa • Kazuo Komatsubara • Katsuya Kondō • Yoshifumi Kondō • Yoichi Kotabe • Gorō Miyazaki • Hayao Miyazaki • Yoshiyuki Momose • Tomomi Mochizuki • Yasuji Mori • Hiroyuki Morita • Mamoru Oshii • Shinji Otsuka • Yasuo Ōtsuka • Toshio Suzuki]] • Isao Takahata • Kazuo Oga • Tsukasa Tannai