Kiki's Delivery Service
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Rarely does a film touch so many hearts or reach such artistic heights as the highly acclaimed KIKI'S DELIVERY SERIVCE, the magical adventure of an enterprising young girl who must follow tradition to become a full-fledged witch. Venturing out with only her chatty black cat Jiji, KiKi flies off for the adventure of a lifetime. Landing in a far-off city, she sets up a high-flying delivery service. Here begins a wonderful experience of independence and responsibility as she finds her place in the world. The breathtaking animation of the legendary Hayao Miyazaki and the star voice talents of Kirsten Dunst (KiKi), Phil Hartman (Jiji), Matthew Lawrence (Tombo), and more make KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE soar with an energy, excitement, and the kind of imagination that entertains again and again!
- Introduction by John Lasseter
- Behind The Microphone - voice talent featurette
- Original Japanese trailers
- Complete Japanese storyboards
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Next to the product image there were 3 options; VHS, DVD, Blu Ray/Multi Format. I initially chose the blu ray, which is the newer version with better picture quality, but a ton of dialogue/music taken out, and a slightly different ending.
So, I had to go back and choose "DVD" then scroll down the buying options to the bottom where only one of them said "Dvd, 2003" and THAT is the English dub version that I grew up with.
If you're a "purist", seeing it for the first time, or apathetic, then just get the blu ray. Or better yet, just watch it in Japanese because that's the best way to get the truest sense of the story as Miyazaki intended it. Be aware that most of Jiji the cat's lines are gone, dialogue from Kiki and other main characters are taken out, music is missing and in the end Kiki can no longer talk to Jiji because now she's "too mature to talk to cats" or whatever....
If you want the other version, which has a more cheerful tone, then get the VHS or the 2003 dvd release. It has the opening song "Soaring" and ending track "I'm Gonna Fly." Jiji, who is voiced by Phil Hartman, has all his witty sarcastic lines and banter. There's more dialogue, beautiful little piano pieces and music to narrate different actions such as Kiki tiptoeing and cute things like that. The whole mood and personality of the movie is different. And in the end when Kiki regains her powers, she can talk to Jiji again!
It may not seem like that stuff makes a difference but it really does. In the true to form version, there are tons of silences and gaps. In some films that really works and you can appreciate the silence and artwork and the character being in quiet contemplation but in this one... it's just... depressing. I'm sorry but I don't need a childhood story that's supposed to be magical where the main character is just staring at the scenery in silent depression over and over again. It's just boring. Extra things here and there bring it to life and give each scene and character a little more depth and pizazz. Plus it's dedicated to the late Phil Hartman, so to take out most of his lines seems very disrespectful.
The older version is grainier and fuzzier on a big screen, but if you're mainly in it for the story then that doesn't matter. Or you can just get both versions like I did accidentally and be able to choose from either. Just depends on what you want, and either way a fantastic movie!
The DVD version I own (distributed by Disney) has problems. Sometimes the DVD would play and other times it won’t. I know it’s not any of the DVD/Blu-Ray systems I own (even my PS3 rejected it). I would usually get a message that says “check disc” or “unable to read”. The disc has no scratches or anything. After cleaning the disc anyways (a few times), the movie would finally play.
Anyways, when I heard they re-released this movie again on Blu-ray & DVD, this gave me the opportunity to replace my DVD (and buy other Miyazaki films I never got in the past). Upon purchasing this Blu-Ray & DVD release, I noticed a lot of reviews stating the movie was edited (not the footage, but the audio). In Amazons description, it states that there was English Dolby Surround Sound Version & Stereo Version. When I read that, I thought that maybe one of those would have the unedited version. When I finally got it, I went to setup to see if there was the two versions, Dolby & Stereo. Sadly, only the Dolby Version was listed (Stereo was NOT listed). Amazon should remove English Stereo from their description.
Anyways, some lines were removed from the movie esp. Jiji’s lines. I don’t understand why the dialogue was removed. A lot of Jiji’s lines were pretty funny and I especially loved how he revealed at the end that he can talk to Kiki again, but in this version he doesn’t talk at the end, just meows like a normal cat. A little disappointed about that edit, but the movie is still great.
Even though I had planned to get rid of the DVD after I got my new replacement, I decided to keep the DVD because that version has all the dialogue. So I own an edited and unedited version (as pictured). So for anyone that has the original DVD copy, DO NOT get rid of it. That’s probably the only copy that has all the dialogue.
Despite the audio being edited in this version, it’s still a good movie and worth getting.