Review: Kiki’s Delivery Service


Released in Japan in 1989, ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’ was written, produced and directed by Hayao Miyazaki as an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Eiko Kadono. The film was brought to the US in 1997 by The Walt Disney Corporation.

The story follows Kiki, a young witch, who goes to town with her black cat, Jiji, to make a living on her mandatory year away from her family to train. Kiki makes friends with the villagers as she delivers packages around town. A young by named Tombo follows her around. He is an inventor of flying machines and admires her flying abilities.

Kiki has a crisis of identity as she momentarily loses an the ability to fly and has a harder time understanding her feline companion. Kiki regains self confidence after she saves Tombo and others from an airship accident. She remains in the town and resumes her delivery service in contentment.


The film is very much about coming of age, moving away from home and the familiar to grow from a child into a young adult.

There are noticeable differences in plot between the Japanese and American versions of this film. In the American version, Kiki reunites with Jiji which does not occur in the original Japanese. Cultural references are also changed to become more timeless and thus more relatable over time.


The next film in The State Theater Ghibli Series will show on Wednesday 5 November at 7pm, ‘Grave of the Fireflies.’

Review: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind – not as enthustastic as my colleague


‘Nausicaä of Valley of the Wind’ begins after the apocalyptic Seven Days of Fire war, in which human’s have basically destroyed the world. All that remains are a few small kingdoms and the ‘Toxic Jungle’ inhabited by gigantic mutant insects, where everything is deadly to humans.

Princess Nausicaä has managed to enter the toxic jungle and relate to it in a familiar and friendly way, learning from it and searching for a cure for the humans and the plight of the world.

The Tolmekian Kingdom seeks to destroy the toxic jungle with the weapon that began the Seven Days of Fire in the first place. Nausicaä works to prevent the use of this destructive weapon and discovers the symbiotic relationship between the toxic jungle and human civilization, as it exists. The plants of the jungle serve to purify the toxic water, tainted by centuries of human contamination and the war.

Nausicaä saves the jungle and her kingdom in the valley of the wind and befriends the monstrous insects from the toxic jungle.


‘Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind’ was never one of my favorite Hayao Miyazaki films. However, his focus on a young female character as the savior of the planet is in keeping with many themes reverberating through Miyazaki’s films.

Released in 1984, ‘Nausicaä’ has themes of environmental preservation, the negative effects of human civilization on the planet and the dangers of nuclear warfare.

The box office success of this film lead to the establishment of Japanese anime company Studio Ghibli by Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata and Toshio Suzuki, the latter two were producer of many Miyazaki films.

The State Theater’s ‘Studio Ghibli’ series continues on Wednesday 23 October, 7pm with ‘Castle in the Sky.’

Preview: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind


What: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Where: The State Theater
When: Wednesday 15 October
How Much: $8 students, $10 general admissions, $7.50 Michigan Theater Members

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is the second film in Michigan Theater’s ‘The Studio Ghibli Collection: A 30-Year-Retrospective,’ which began with Howl’s Moving Castle this past Saturday’s midnight movie and extends into December.

Princess Nausicaä fights to save the damaged planet and surviving people from destroying themselves and each other. Hayao Miyazaki’s post-apocalyptic animated film was released in 1984.

PREVIEW: Ann Arbor Film Festival

Ann Arbor Film Festival

The Film Fest is my absolutely favorite Ann Arbor event of the year. Every March since high school, I have visited the town during this celebrated week of film, friendly competition, and finest art. If you are trying to get your daily Starbucks this week and find that the line from the Michigan Theater is out the door and down the block, don’t panic. It’s just Ann Arbor voyeurs trying to get their art film kick!

With shorts, documentaries, animated’s, feature lengths, panels, lectures, opening receptions, after parties, juries, and more, the Film Fest takes over the the entire town in its revelry. From Tuesday, March 19th to Sunday March 24th, the Michigan Theater will host all the screenings of the festival. Restaurants like Sava’s, The Raven’s Club, The Bar, Arbor Brewing Co. and more will host the after-screenings. Tickets run at $7 for students and showtimes happen all day long. So if you are just catching a flick between classes, thats ok! With its range of genres and highly acclaimed status in the industry, this festival is not to be missed.

Click here for a full schedule of the lineup. Enjoy the show, and definitely see you there!