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YMMV / Kiki's Delivery Service

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  • Adaptation Displacement: Very few people outside Japan realize that the Miyazaki film is actually based on a book. The popularity of the film led to the said book being translated. Unsurprisngly, this has led to confusion when the 2014 live action adaptation was announced and released, with many confusing it as an adaptation of the Miyazaki film as opposed to being another adaptation of the book to where one official blu ray release even states it as one.
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  • 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....
  • First Installment Wins: While the novel did get several sequels, the first novel is undeniably the most well known and is the one both adaptations are based off of.
  • 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, culminating in this.
  • Memetic Mutation: Kiki falling into her bed, dead tired has become a stock GIF.
  • Moe: Kiki is just too adorable with her cheerful attitude, clumsiness, and eagerness to learn. Witches don't come much cuter than her.
  • 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.
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  • One-Scene Wonder: The witch that Kiki encounters and chats with during her flight only appears once in the entire film and doesn't even have a name (the credits only call her "Senior Witch"), and yet, she is quite popular amongst fans. It probably helps that she's the only seen witch in the film besides Kiki herself and her mother.
  • 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.
  • The Scrappy: Nobody online has anything nice to say about Madame's granddaughter.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Many fans were not pleased 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; non-American Netflix branches also restored the ad-libs and Forest songs to Kiki.
    • 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 master for the GKIDS/Shout! Factory rerelease — still missing the '98 dub — and HBO Max somehow made this worse by making this more likely to happen even when the characters weren't loud, which GKIDS said they didn't notice before putting their release out somehow.
  • 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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