Welcome to the brand new year’s first #ThrowbackThursday! How is your year so far? It has been pretty quiet here in my mug cabinet, but I digress. Let’s welcome the new year with a Studio Ghibli feel-good movie, Kiki’s Delivery Service. Here’s Joe Hisaishi’s beautiful live concert medley of Kiki’s Delivery Service‘s songs.
Fans of Hayao Miyazaki’s movies should know that the retired director loved collaborating with Joe Hisaishi. We can only be thankful to those collaborations because the results were just amazing.
By the way, the esteemed director just turned 75 on January 5th this year. That is a just couple of days ago! Happy birthday Miyazaki-san!
Kiki’s Delivery Service (魔女の宅急便, Majo no Takkyūbin or translated as, Witch’s Delivery Service) was a Miyazaki animated movie released in 1989. It was not released and distributed in the United States until 1998. The release marked the first partnership between Studio Ghibli and Walt Disney Pictures.
The basic premise of Kiki’s Delivery Service is the coming-of-age story of Kiki, the main character, who is trying to make a living from her skills as a witch’s apprentice. Having just mastered flying with her broomstick, Kiki went away from her hometown to be independent. The movie shows the hardships of being a newbie to a foreign place, the awkwardness of being a child, making new friends, and overcoming a great problem.
Just like My Neighbor Totoro, I can guarantee that your spirits will be uplifted once you finish watching this cute movie. Even Hisaishi-san looked like he was having fun conducting the first part of the medley, the main theme. Whoops, I got lost listening to other Studio Ghibli songs.
For your info, the songs in the medleys are, in order: “A Town with an Ocean View”, “Heartbroken Kiki”, and “Mom’s Broom”.
Even our very own leader, Katy, got to cosplay as Kiki during her trip to AnimeFest 2015. You can see her report by clicking here. Also, we found out that Kiki’s Delivery Service has quite a few Studio Ghibli easter eggs in our article here.
Speaking of things that you may not know about Kiki’s Delivery Service, I am going to list some that I found interesting.
The animated movie has a very European setting to it. While researching for the movie, Hisaishi and a team of artists flew to Sweden. They took photographs as reference materials. However, it also seems like the movie contains bits and pieces of other European countries as well. Above is a photograph of Visby, a small and very old city located on an island off mainland Sweden. It is easy to see that the fictional town of Koriko in the movie resembles Visby.
In the movie, Kiki stays with the family of a bread baker whose shop is named “Guchokipanya”. The name is actually a pun and a portmanteau of “gu choki pa” (rock paper scissors) and “pan ya” (bakery).
Miyazaki has quite a bit of fascination with airplanes. His dad and uncle made a living in the aeronautics industry when he was a child. Aircraft are featured prominently in some of his other works such as Porco Rosso and The Wind Rises. In Kiki’s Delivery Service intro sequence, there was a short scene where Kiki finally leaves her hometown on her broomstick. During her flight she sees an airplane flying past her. That airplane is based on a real model named the Handley-Page HP42.
Lastly, this is a nice little info bit that is unrelated to the movie making process. There is an often-visited bakery in Tasmania, Australia that is said to resemble Gukichopanya. Many fans of the movie have visited the small bakery over the years and even cosplayed there. More on this cross-cultural phenomenon here (ABC Australia) and here (The Mercury).
Do not forget to come back next week for more #ThrowbackThursday!
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