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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Majo No Takkyubin (aka Kiki's Delivery Service) (1989)

As is their tradition, a young witch (Minami Takayama/Kirsten Dunst) leaves home at the age of 13 to seek her fortune in the world. All she takes with her are her broom and her black cat (Rei Sakuma/Phil Hartman). Based on the book by Eiko Kadono and produced, directed and adapted for the screen by the great Hayao Miyazaki. This utterly captivating example of Japanese anime is a charming tale of the process of growing from adolescence into a young woman as the young witch grapples with loneliness, self doubt and independence. As usual for Miyazaki, the animation is stunning. Rich and vibrant with color and precise in the detailing. Although released in 1989, the film didn't reach U.S. shores until nine years later. I watched the original Japanese language version but the English is very well done too I thought. Among the actors voicing the English dub are Debbie Reynolds, Janeane Garofalo, Brad Garrett, Edie McClurg and Matthew Lawrence. This was one of Phil Hartman's last performances and the U.S. dub is dedicated to him.

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