CAT OF THE DAY 099: KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE

kiki04CAT OF THE DAY 099: KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE (aka MAJO NO TAKKYUBIN 魔女の宅急便) (1989)

Kiki’s Delivery Service is a Major Cat Movie directed by Hayao Miyazaki just after My Neighbour Totoro. Kiki is a 13-year-old trainee witch. It’s traditional for witches of that age to go it alone for a year, so Kiki leaves her parents’ village and flies off on a broom with her black cat Jiji. After much flying, and an interlude in a train, they come to Koriko, a bustling city by the sea, which is where Kiki decides to stay. A friendly baker allows her to live in an empty attic over the bakery, and encourages her to start a delivery service.

Jiji is a talking cat. In the original Japanese version the character is voiced by Rei Sakuma, whose voice doesn’t sound particularly female – just catlike; in the American dub distributed by Disney, she was voiced by the very masculine-sounding Phil Hartman. (I know many people love this version, so apologies to them, but I tried watching it once and didn’t get very far; maybe you have to be a fan of Sabrina the Teenage Witch to enjoy it.)

SPOILERS AFTER THE PICTURE

kiki01

There’s an amusing episode where Jiji has to pose as a stuffed toy, and while Kiki is growing and learning and meeting people, Jiji starts hanging out with a white cat a couple of rooftops away. Gradually, almost imperceptibly, they’re growing apart. The part of the film that completely demolished me is when Kiki doesn’t just lose her powers of flying, but finds herself unable to communicate with Jiji anymore.

Kiki learns to fly again, but the days of talking to Jiji are over. The idea of having a lovely talking cat, but then not being able to talk to it any more, is more than I can bear; even just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. I guess that means I don’t want to grow up.

kiki05

Today’s cat is dedicated to Edith.

Other Cats of the Day from Studio Ghibli:

CAT OF THE DAY 035: MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO

CAT OF THE DAY 081: WHISPER OF THE HEART

About these ads
This entry was posted in A Major Cat Movie, Animation or Anime, Black Cat, Catagonist, Cataphor, Catpanion, Catscallion and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to CAT OF THE DAY 099: KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE

  1. Barbara says:

    Love this site, love it ….
    I recommend taking another look at the Ghibli film The Cat Returns, which I see you mentioned in passing before. It’s patchy and deteriorates towards the end, but there are some wonderful ideas, like the security cats that accompany the Cat King and the presents that the cats give the heroine at the beginning, assuming that gift-wrapped mice will be just what she wants. Plus of course the cat from Whisper of the Heart re-appears – but my nomination for cat of the day would be the plump little Secretary cat who arranges the gifts. (who’s also dubbed in the wrong gender, I believe).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s