Kiki's Delivery Service

Kiki's Delivery Service ★★★★½

My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service both traffic in similarly wholesome atmosphere, but “Kiki” accentuates that sweetness with joyous wanderlust and youthful self-discovery. Miyazaki brings a more natural approach to this magical-realist version of ‘50s Europe, not quite grounded but rather an idealized aspirational likeness. From the first scene of windswept fields, the film channels such welcoming homeliness. Each new setting exudes the same warmth, from Kiki’s ivied family abode to the seaside sun-touched city so inviting you can practically smell the ocean breeze.

Once again Miyazaki delivers a wonderfully likable heroine in the titular Kiki, a character that radiates innocent kindness in a world so equally amiable that cats and dogs can be friends. The plot is no more than the high-flying slice-of-life adventures of a young witch finding herself and her passion, but sometimes that’s enough.

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