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Kiki’s Delivery Service: A Delightful Slice of Adolescent Magical Realism

Kiki’s Delivery Service: A Delightful Slice of Adolescent Magical Realism

By Andrea Thompson

Question: if a Hayao Miyazaki film can be easily classified, is it still a Miyazaki film? Likewise, you could make a good case that Kiki’s Delivery Service technically falls into the category of magical realism, but it would fail to do justice to the complexity of what Miyazaki achieves in the story of the coming of age of a 13-year-old witch named Kiki. Eiko Kadono, the 83-year-old writer of the original Kiki books, described them thusly: “It’s all about this kid getting to fly with her own magic.” In that respect, Miyazaki’s adaptation succeeds mightily.

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