Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989, Hayao Miyazaki)

Surprisingly lightweight after the spectacle of Nausicaa, part two of my afternoon at the Belcourt. Again, the dubbed version, with a recognizable Phil Hartman as the cat (his final voice role), Kirsten Dunst as Kiki, Tress MacNeille (returning from Nausicaa) as the baker, Janeane Garofalo as the painter and Debbie Reynolds as the old woman with a broken oven.

Kiki is an apprentice witch, off to spend a year in an unfamiliar city to finish her studies. She doesn’t seem to refine her witch-skills much upon arrival, instead using the fact that she’s the only person in town who can fly to start a delivery service. She has maybe three delivery jobs in the whole movie (there isn’t even a delivery montage implying others), also helps out at the bakery where she stays and poses for a painter who lives in a cabin in the woods. My favorite part was actually the saddest scene: a customer hired her to deliver a baked dish but upon Kiki’s arrival the dish wasn’t ready because the oven had broken. So Kiki helps with the woman’s old brick oven, then makes the delivery, getting sick in the rain and missing her first date with a nerdy boy, only to find the recipient a spoiled rich girl who doesn’t appreciate the gift.

Anyway the nerdy boy forgives Kiki, but she begins to doubt herself and loses her powers (exit Phil Hartman). She hangs out with the painter for a while, but finally gets herself flying again when the nerdy boy has a life-threatening blimp emergency and only Kiki can save him.

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