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YMMV / Kiki's Delivery Service

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  • Adaptation Displacement: Very few people outside Japan realize that the movie is actually based on a book. The popularity of the film led to the said book being translated.
  • Awesome Art: Well, it's a Hayao Miyazaki movie, so this is expected, but in particular the ending scene with Kiki on the borrowed broom is incredibly animated.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Kiki and the two elderly ladies see the chaos unfolding on TV when heavy winds send the blimp flying out of control. Barsa is getting a little too much entertainment out of this like she's just watching a movie. That is until Kiki spots Tombo being lifted away....
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  • Defictionalization: There are a multitude of officially licensed Jiji plushies, if you ever wanted one similar to the plush the girl gets for her birthday party.
  • Ear Worm: Love 'em or hate 'em, one cannot deny that the two added Sydney Forest songs are insanely catchy. You just may find yourself humming snatches of them weeks afterwards.
  • Gateway Series: For a lot of 80s and 90s kids, this was their first entry to Studio Ghibli's catalog and perhaps, even anime in general.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Jiji abruptly ceasing to talk in the English dub can have some chilling undertones, knowing that it was Phil Hartman's final role before his murder.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Changing the dub line from 'coffee' to 'cocoa', especially considering that in years since, many children have been drinking coffee since a very young age.
    • Some fans have noticed that Tombo looks like a younger Griffin McElroy (as seen here), culminating in this.
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  • Memetic Mutation: Kiki falling into her bed, dead tired has become a stock GIF.
  • Narm: Viewers might be less impressed by Ursula's painting than the characters are.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The entire sequence with the blimp crashing into the city with Tombo hanging on for dear life. Anybody who gets anxious about heights is bound to be tense during these moments. The scene itself, being what it is is also likely to evoke recollections of the Hindenburg disaster.
  • Subbing vs. Dubbing: Not the only Ghibli dub to receive such an atmosphere (Castle in the Sky and My Neighbor Totoro also qualify), but many viewers can't seem to decide whether the Disney dub is a charming, entertaining experience or a watered down travesty of a great film. Purists strongly claim it is the latter (often stating that the Japanese version and the Carl Macek-produced Streamline dub is the ONLY way you should watch the film), but there are many fans of the dub; the fact that the Disney dub was the final film role of Phil Hartman before his death tends to add fuel to the fire. The German dub gets a similar, if ever so slightly less extreme, treatment.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • While Kiki is sick, there is one scene where Kiki can be found sleeping and Jiji starts feeling very worried about Kiki.
    • The next morning, where Kiki discovers that Jiji can no longer speak to her or understand her due to her losing her powers.
    • Kiki and the old grandmother spend hours making a cake for the lady's granddaughter only for the girl to grouse how much she hates her grandma's meals and Kiki to get her dress wet and miss the party. Not to mention everything that happened after.
    • Relatively minor example; the beginning of the film, where Kiki abruptly decides she has to leave that very night because it's a full moon. Her father is dismayed because they'd made plans to do something together before she left, and she blows him off with a hurried apology. This can come off as harsh to viewers who are unable to spend time with their own fathers anymore.
    • The dedication to Phil Hartman at the end of the credits.
    • Joe Hisaishi's soundtrack can be this, particularly On A Clear Day and Mom's Broom.
  • The Scrappy: Nobody online has anything nice to say about Madame's granddaughter.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Many fans were pissed when the 2010 re-release of the English dub removed most of Phil Hartman's ad-libbed lines, saying that it's disrespectful to his memory, as this was his last role before his death. Similarly, much handwringing ensued when fans found that Sydney Forest's songs were replaced with the original Japanese tracks. When Disney later released Miyazaki's post-Kiki movies on Blu-ray, none of their English dubs had any dialogue (such as Spirited Away's last chat between Chihiro and her dad) removed. On the flip side, there are just as many who are very offended by the existence of the Disney dub, period, for replacing the Streamline version.
    • Also, the audio engineers who edited the dub's audio made a noticeable error, as they did something to the dialogue in the mix, resulting in everyone, if they got too high in volume, to sound like they're talking through fans all the time. The Shout! Factory rerelease somehow made this worse by making this more likely to happen even when the characters weren't loud, which they said they didn't notice before putting their release out somehow.
    • The fact that the GKIDS rerelease in 2017 doesn't offer the option of using the original Disney dub also grates on many fans, as does the noticeable errors with audio mixing that made it into the release.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Because of some of the parallels Ursula makes comparing her art to Kiki's magic, magic can be seen as an allegory for art, with Kiki's illness and depression being art block (or actual illness and depression that prevents one from doing their craft), and the joy of regaining one's desire to do art.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Critics of the live-action version say the main lead was a little too old to convincingly play a 13-year-old.


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