Kiki's Delivery Service ★★★★★

I find it really refreshing how forgiving this film is of its characters. Kiki is allowed to be moody and flawed and insecure without being punished for it. It’s such an honest portrayal of being 13 years old, because she doesn’t always learn from her mistakes, she doesn’t stop being stubborn, proud, clumsy or moody, she just keeps existing and trying her best. This embracement of Kiki’s flaws is also an embracement of life, and I think that’s the most effective way the film could’ve gotten to the heart of the story. Miyazaki’s films all have in common the love of life that is equally romantic as it is honest, since these two perspectives are not incompatible, and I find that Kiki’s Delivery Service is the one Studio Ghibli film that captures this the best. Its portrayal of Kiki’s isolation, sadness and insecurity is surprisingly nuanced and unique, and it trusts the audience to understand and relate to her without explaining what she’s going through directly. I also love how the film so wholeheartedly trusts in the kindness of others. It manages to show the importance of kindness and friendship without seeming cliché or dishonest in any way, and I find that so comforting and inspiring. Definitely my favourite Ghibli film.