Hayao Miyazaki's astounding animation in the service of ideas that will move both younger and older viewers alike.
Kiki's Delivery Service
From the Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) comes a quirky coming-of-age film about the adventures of young girl as she strikes out on her own for the first time. In order to complete her training as a witch, the 13-year-old Kiki leaves home to make a new life in a strange town. She must rely on her unique skills, which for Kiki include a not entirely developed ability to fly and a boundless enthusiasm. With a wisecracking black cat by her side, Kiki comes across a number of colourful characters as she struggles to set up a flying delivery service in the city she has chosen as home. In spite of her knack for getting into trouble, Kiki's dedication and disposition see her through all sorts of mishaps and win her new friends every step of the way. The look and humour of Kiki's Delivery Service may cause some to write it off as lighthearted children's fare, but the film offers some startlingly poignant moments as Kiki comes to terms with her independence. Though her magic inspires only mild surprise among most residents of the city, Kiki nonetheless grapples with the feeling that she is a misfit in her new surroundings. In a striking departure from most children's films, Kiki faces no villainous figures and her only real obstacle comes from within herself. The ultimate lesson Kiki learns on her path to self-sufficiency is likely to resonate most strongly with older viewers, but it is wrapped up in enough excitement to satisfy younger ones.