The Chef Hicks’s review published on Letterboxd:
The spirit of witches. The spirit of artists. The spirit of bakers. It must be given by God.
-Blasphemy! Like wow, blasphemy.
Part 1: The Baffled Autist Reviewing Kiki's Delivery Service
I think I was way, way, way too nice to this here film last time. On one hand, it's a seemingly sweet-natured and seemingly wholesome little film about following your heart (romanticism, reject it accordingly) and how the spirit of being a witch can come from God (what?) Maybe there's a good reason Garofalo said no to this line. You read that correctly.
Part 2: Daughter of a Witch
Kiki is 13-year old witch who goes to a city to be a witch-in-training. She works for a bakery. She goes on all these assignments for the bakery to deliver a cat doll, bake a cake for a teenage girl's party, and meet a blasphemous artist.
Part 3: Flashback: Sometime in the Bush Years
Do not mistake for some anti-Ghibliite. Porco Rosso is in my top 4 (at this moment in time). But there is some occult stuff in these things. And it's as plain as the hammy crying that is so prominent in these films. I've been watching Ghibli since I was three. And this was probably the second one of these I watched. So I know the Ghibli films cold. In fairness, I didn't know what the hell a witch was. Only that Joe Hisaishi knows how to compose, Phil Hartman can voice act, and that anything with a bright and cheery tone seems good.
Part 4: Under the Surface
This film presents a charming and wholesome veneer of a cheerful and chipper childrens' story. But like with most things geared towards children, there's a no, just no streak. Needless to say, witches are not as pleasant as this film will portray. Human sacrifice and stuff. Obviously, this film will not teach any spells to kids. That would be idiocy. But it will teach the sophomoric and dumb aforementioned notion in the quote section. Which I personally think is as blasphemous as it gets. My goodness. A witch's spirit comes from God? And now I understand how those fundie protestors back in 98 felt. I believe peoples' gifts do come from God (1 Corinthians 12:4-7), but this does not mean the power of a witch comes from God. That, me readers, is heresy.
Part 5: It Was Beautiful, But Now It's Sour
But as a film... it's not bad. It's paced spectacularly well, Miyazaki's direction is incredible, Phil Hartman is funny, and the storytelling is great. The film language use is remarkable too. It's just that... it's gonna take a lot for me to admire films with this subject matter. This is the kind of film where it tastes like honey one watches it, but you just don't grasp it until you're older. Then it turns sour. Yes, it's all gone sour.