Kiki's Delivery Service

Kiki's Delivery Service ★★★★

“Sign of the times I'm afraid. Everything changes, bit by bit.”

Once again, such a delightful watch - equal parts cosy, calming, and comforting. I read somewhere that Miyazaki has stated this film is set in a Europe where both world wars were averted, and that makes perfect sense to me. Koriko is a town filled with both natural and architectural beauty, yes, but it's also a place where goodness, kindness and grace are not only commonplace, but expected - in some ways, a small glimpse of heaven. No wonder we all love it so much.

Obviously the vibrant use of colour is amazing, but I also love how Miyazaki pays close attention to the small details, highlighting the quieter moments and allowing them plenty of breathing space. For example, going out of your way to avoid social interaction in an unfamiliar place, the satisfaction of having a freshly cleaned room, the crushing feeling of having hard work go unappreciated, the exhilarating rush of realisation that you can be helpful in your current situation, or Kiki's authentic reaction to even a man-made thing like a dirigible being able to fly while she still can't.

Joe Hisaishi's wonderful score, too, greatly elevates the poignancy of seemingly simple moments, like saying goodbye to your parents and your old room, being excited to leave home with fresh eyes, not knowing what you'll find out there, the thrill of arriving in an unfamiliar yet beautiful and exciting new place, or even just having a friend there to talk through your problems with.

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