Kiki's Delivery Service (Blu-ray) (1989)
Featurette-Creating Kiki's Delivery Service
Featurette-Kiki & Jiji
Featurette-Flying with Kiki & Beyond
Featurette-The Locations of Kiki
Featurette-Behind the Microphone
Theatrical Trailer-Original Japanese Theatrical Trailers
Trailer-Studio Ghibli Trailers
|Year Of Production||1989|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Hayao Miyazaki|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
Japanese Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Kiki's Delivery Service, the 1989 animated film from Studio Ghibli, was the first film by master Hayao Miyazaki to be a success at the box office. A sweet and gentle film it is the story of an adolescent girl learning how to make it in the big city.
Kiki is a witch from a small town, coming from a long line of witches. Tradition requires that when a witch turns 13 she must leave her home for a year and travel to another town to develop her craft. Actually, 13 sounds a little young to me but who can argue with tradition! On a clear moonlit night Kiki says farewell to her parents and takes off on her broomstick, albeit somewhat haltingly, into the night with a mixture of elation and trepidation accompanied by her faithful familiar, a talking black cat called Jiji. After some adventures along the way she finds herself in a seaside town somewhat surprised that everybody isn't happy to see a witch arriving. She accidentally gets into trouble with the police, only escaping through the intervention of a young boy named Tombo. Finding him too forward Kiki brushes him off and sets about trying to find herself a place to stay.
As it turns out that isn't so easy. She is unable to find accommodation until by chance she helps the owner of a local bakery return a dummy to her baby. The owner allows Kiki to stay and suggest that she might be able to make a business out of doing flying deliveries. After all, who can get a package to where it's going faster than a young girl riding a broomstick! Kiki finds challenges along the way, including being attacked by birds over a forest who mistake her for an egg thief. When returning to the forest at night to find a delivery she dropped Kiki meets a young painter named Ursula and the two become friends.
Although there is some genuine danger presented at the end this is not a film with high stakes. Normally the greatest trouble facing Kiki is whether she will get her delivery to where it's going on time. This is a gentle and lovely film from Studio Ghibli bearing the unmistakable hand of writer/producer/director Hayao Miyazaki.
Kiki's Delivery Service comes to Blu-ray in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio consistent with the original cinematic presentation.
The presentation of the film represents a significant upgrade from the last version to be released in these parts, in 2004. People still continue to argue whether traditional cel animation benefits as greatly from a high-definition upgrade as CGI however there is no doubt that this is the best that the film has ever looked and that it presents very well on Blu-ray.
The delicate backgrounds and pastel colours are well rendered and the other colours, from the brightness of Kiki's bow to the black of Jiji, look excellent.
There are no technical problems with the presentation.
There are subtitles in English.
Kiki's Delivery Service comes with two LPCM soundtracks. There are no surprises. Both are 2.0 soundtracks reflecting the earlier DVD release.
The Blu-ray contains, as with the previous DVD, the Japanese original dub and the English dub from 1997. Both are excellent renditions with the English featuring a young Kirsten Dunst as well as the last performance by Phil Hartman prior to his untimely death.
Whilst a surround track could have been created for the film the presentation provided here is excellent with good stereo separation including clear dialogue and punchy sound effects.
The music is by legend Joe Hisaishi which well suits the subject matter.
There are no technical problems with the sound.
|Surround Channel Use|
The Blu-ray contains numerous extras. Some were already included on the previous Region 4 release:
Others were on the Region 1 Special Edition which came out in 2010. These include the following:
A short feature about the creation of the script from the original novel and Miyazaki's decision to take over as director. Miyazaki wanted a world which was vaguely European and existed in a space of time approximating the 50s but as if the war had never happened.
The creation of a genuine adolescent girl is the focus here. Miyazaki also talks about the work that went into animating the lovable Jiji.
The concept of witch flight presented an animation problem - how could you show someone sitting on a broom without looking like they were uncomfortable?
Producer Toshiro Suzuki talks about the problem facing Miyazaki, who came from a family of boys and has only male children, to create a story about adolescent girls.
Part of a long documentary on Ghibli locations this looks at the deliberately confusing European locations copied for the film.
A featurette featuring a cute-as-a-button Kirsten Dunst, Phil Hartman, Janeane Garofalo and others talking about the process of making the dub.
Lots of trailers.
Lots more trailers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The only available version to date is the Japanese Region A which does not have the English dub. Buy local.
Kiki's Delivery Service may not be the most powerful or moving Studio Ghibli film but it is much loved for its gentle themes and adorable characters.
The Blu-ray release is very good in sound and vision terms and there are a decent number of extras included.
|DVD||Cambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Pioneer SC-LX 81 7.1|
|Speakers||Aaron ATS-5 7.1|