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     " You know, a film with this many underwear shots usually features large breasted high school girls and uniquely appendaged monsters… But don't be fooled, this one's all kinds of G rated. "

      Title: Kiki's Delivery Service by Studio Ghibli, distributed by Walt Disney Studios

      Format: Anime DVD

      Reviewing Monkey: Chimpan-A

      The Hype: One of anime's classic pieces, from director Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. Brought to our homes once more in celebration of Spirited Away's release, here's another chance to pick up this piece. Join our young heroine Kiki; witch at large, on her big adventures in the city.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Animation: This is a relatively old piece. The colors are all very bright and cheerful, and the classic Studio Ghibli style is obvious in the cute rounded faces of all the characters which are all wonderfully modeled. However, you'll find it to be a little less sharp than today's fare. They did a great job capturing the feel of a small German town for this, though. There's not much in the way of action here, but the animation keeps up pretty well when the high flying gets going. 4 out of 5

      Story and Voice Acting: This is a very enchanting tale (as a matter of fact, I think I got a hex or three watching this movie…). Essentially, Kiki is a young witch about to begin her training. As is the tradition of the witches, she goes off to a new city to set up shop. You've got to hand it to a culture that kicks its kids out at 13, right when they start hitting that troubled teen phase… well done. Anyways, apparently it happens all the time though as nobody around town blinks an eye at a small girl riding her broom all over creation. Well to make a long story short we follow Kiki's trials and tribulations setting up her own delivery service (bet you didn't know that most witches got their start doing UPS runs…), making friends and coming into her witchly powers. The story is cute, and certainly entertaining, it's easy to see why this is such a mainstay in anime.
          The translation tends to stick relatively well to the original lines, most of the changes in actual lines are negligible at worst. Apparently though, the voice actor of Kiki's black cat Jiji (or Gigi, depending on where you look... I hate it when they do that) decided to go off during the recordings. He's constantly spouting off lines where none existed. Of course, seeing as the cat's voiced by Phil Hartman in the English dub, I won't complain too much (May he rest in peace. They even put a very nice dedication to him at the end). Another odd thing about the cat… I'm fairly sure that it's a female in the Japanese version… In any case, Kirsten Dunst voices Kiki and does a bang up job. Janeane Garofalo and other starlets make vocal appearances as well. The voice work is quite well done, with nary a bad performance in the lot. 4.5 out of 5

      Value vs. Price: Not a whole heck of a lot extra on here. Of course, you get the opening John Lasseter guarantee (something about 30 minutes or less…), which has made it into the three new releases. The second disc contains the entire movie again, only this time in storyboard form. None of those pesky colors or moving parts to get in the way of your enjoyment… In any case, it makes a nice bonus for those who may have had this movie for ages, and are wondering if this newest release is worth their time and effort. The movie itself is certainly worth the price, as it's a charming, cute tale worth watching a few times over. Plus you'll be able to converse with your anime loving friends about this classic. 3 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       As a strapping full blooded male, I'm not embarrassed to say that this film is cute as a button and very endearing. Miyazaki created a magical cast of memorable characters well worth a watch. It's a classic, and it's a classic for a reason, certainly worthy to be in your collection.

      The Good: Charming story and characters

      The Bad: It's a little old, and showing its age

      The Overall Ugly: You know, a film with this many underwear shots usually features large breasted high school girls and uniquely appendaged monsters… But don't be fooled, this one's all kinds of G rated.

      What it's Worth: $25 is fair.

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