Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Good Kids' Movies: Kiki's Delivery Service

One of the rules of the Darwin household (created with the primary intent of preventing master and mistress from becoming any less sane than they are already) is that the monkeys may not own videos or watch TV which the senior Darwins don't also enjoy. This definitely makes things like Barney, Seasame Street, Blues Clues, and anything with Barbie or Pretty Ponies or Care Bears or Strawberry Shortcake verboten.

However, every so often something sufficiently charming comes along that we genuinely enjoy adding it to the cannon. Such a one is Kiki's Delivery Service.

While we've enjoyed other Miyazaki films we've seen such as Spirited Away, they've been a bit too odd for the small ones to see without fears of nightmares and such. Kiki, however, is comprehensible to a 3-4 year old, beautifully animated, and just all around a nice story. (Maybe I should just break down an say "sweet", though without any of the treacle the term usually suggests.)

Kiki is a 13-year-old witch off to do the traditional one year's training alone in another city. With her black cat Gigi (a comic character who never goes over the edge into just being annoying like certain animal sidekicks one could name) she settles in a seaside town and starts a delivery service, flying around town on her broom. She's taken under the wing of a very pregnant baker and her husband, and makes a number of friends including a neighborhood boy obsessed with aeronautics, a young female artist who lives off in the woods, and a lonely old lady who likes to bake.

If you're looking for alternative to letting Poomba and Timon's Flatulent Adventure or some other product of modern American animation artistry into your home, give Kiki a shot.

Next up, how about a nice story about bunnies? How would a four-year-old like the animated version of Watership Down? Maybe not quite yet...

8 comments:

Julie D. said...

I agree, Kiki's Delivery Service was one of our family's favorites. Here are a few other ideas by the same director although "Castle" and "Spirited" are probably a bit advanced for your kids' age level.
http://happycatholic.blogspot.com/2004/05/great-movie-your-kids-have-never-seen.html
http://happycatholic.blogspot.com/2004/05/more-movies-your-kids-probably-havent.html

Tim said...

Ditto! KDS is a keeper. It's a great rainy day movie when we've got to entertain everyone from the parents, the college student, the high school student and the 3rd grader.

My other recommendation is "My Neighbor Totoro" (which I see JulieD linked to). My youngest sleeps with a stuffed Totoro that his sister bought in Chinatown and is asking for a Totoro hoodie for Christmas.

You may also want to try "Porko Rosso" which my youngest really enjoyed. It's definitely more violent than Kiki and Totoro but it's a great adventure story and the main character is likeable though not at all cuddly.

John Farrell said...

My girls loved Watership Down (when they were both under 4...)

Bridget said...

Awww...what's wrong with Sesame Street? ;) I like that one, but I can live without the others!

Anna said...

I'm 23 years old and I love Kiki's delivery service! I want to live in her world.

CMinor said...

I dunno--it's been a while but I think the animated Watership Down was a bit harsh for our gang (youngest about 3). Something about a rabbit coughing up blood in one scene.

Reel Fanatic said...

Kiki's Delivery Service is indeed the most charming of Miyazaki's many great movies ... The only one I would rank equally is Porco Rosso, which I think would also be appropriate for all younguns .. Watership Down, though, just scared the bejesus out of me when I was a kid

Fidei Defensor said...

I dunno Darwins, after my recent run-in with Gloria Steinem and all the neo-pagan, earth-mother, wican crapolla that entailed, I am very reluctant to have anything to do with witches!