Majo no takkyûbin (1989)
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Miyazaki continues to surprise with this coming-of-age tale of a young witch who leaves her home for her training according to the tradition and after taking refuge in a beautiful city she starts her own delivery service. As is with other Miyazaki films, this anime too isn't artificial in its emotions even when Kiki is eq
uipped with the same old movie clichés. Kiki is an interesting character: she is optimistic, energetic and smart but at the same time she covets, she is proud making her sound a little foolish at times. Miyazaki's portrayal of young girls has always been perfect in every sense (e.g. his other films like Totoro, Spirited Away). Thus our Kiki is the hero and the villain both at the same time. She is that kind of person whose true goal is not to face life but is to face herself and her pride. Honestly, we all have gone through this phase, haven't we? Thus the portrayal of the lead character itself is so strong the film engages the audience like a thriller film does. Secondly, the people around Kiki were captured equally powerfully. She befriends a boy of her age, Tombo (he kind of looks like Waldo from Where's Waldo), then a pregnant woman and her husband who runs a bakery.
If you watch Kiki then one will realize that Miyazaki has used a variety of characters in Kiki who actually are the real juice of the movie. The early 20th century city itself has a character of its own and adds to the sweetness of the film without making it “too” sweet. The animation itself is another surprising element. Miyazaki has taken care of all the intricate details so powerfully that it’s impossible for us not to notice them and the hidden meaning behind it. Over the years critics and fans have debated the age in which the story actually takes place. Miyazaki deduced later in an interview that the story takes place in a different universe where both the World Wars never took place!
Another surprising masterpiece from Miyazaki with lovely imagery, interesting characters, an engaging story and most important of all: a thought-provoking conclusion that we never probably get to see in any other animated films. Highly recommended for animation fans and non-fans alike.
Sweet and magical movie. My second favourite from Miyazaki
For everybody, not for children.
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #30 in Paste's The 100 Best Anime Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #43 in 100 Animated Feature Films (BFI Screen Guides)
This movie ranks #45 in Animation
This movie ranks #46 in Top 100 Animated Features of All Time
This movie ranks #627 in Doubling the Canon