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Kiki's delivery service
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Hayao Miyazaki's classic 1989 Studio Ghibli anime centers on 13-year-old witch Kiki (voiced in the 1998 English dub by Kirsten Dunst), who leaves home to spend a year in a different city and improve her powers. Accompanied by her familiar—a black cat named Jiji—Kiki discovers that settling into a new locale isn't easy, especially when people are often indifferent, rude, and cruel (although some are kind, too). Taking a room above a bakery, Kiki begins a delivery service, flying around on her broom with boxes and baskets destined for recipients. When a boy who is sweet on her invites Kiki into his world of friends and fun, the less-than-confident witch becomes mercurial and slips into a genuine depression. Miyazaki presents his young protagonist realistically, capturing the self-doubt and insecurities experienced by adolescents. On a visual level, Kiki's Delivery Service is compellingly detailed, with an urban setting that looks like a dazzling fusion of different European and Japanese cities, along with scenes of nature (such as a raging crow protecting her nest). Presented in a Blu-ray/DVD Combo edition, rated G, extras include feature-length storyboards, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and cast and crew interviews. Highly recommended. Editor's Choice. (T. Keogh) Copyright Video Librarian Reviews 2018.

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