The Pitch

13-year-old Kiki leaves her parents to make her way in the big city. Also, she’s a witch.

Age Recommendations

Watch With the Kids: 5+ Common Sense Media: 5+

Content Advisories

Ambiguousness and uncertainty and feelings, a lot like growing up in real life. Kiki is briefly menaced in midair by a flock of angry crows. The climax is kind of a nailbiter.

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04.09.13

Living the dream of independence

Suitably gentle for smaller children, but existing in a fantasy world in which a middle schooler can strike out on her own. The difference between Hayao Miyazaki's sensibility and Hollywood's is no more starkly apparent than in the breathtaking finale. Kiki, who had lost her ability to fly, borrows a broom from a streetworker in the hopes of using it to save her friend, who is dangling above the city on a line attached to an out-of-control blimp. Her unsteady ride to his rescue is the film's most dramatic sequence, and is presented entirely without music, not even in the moment when she finally snatches him, one-handed, from what seems like certain death. —Chris Ereneta

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