Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 5+
A mystical, positive take on girl's coming of age.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hayao Miyazaki's classic anime adventure is an ideal film for the entire family. Unlike some of his other movies that feature some potentially frightening characters or disturbing scenes, this film is a sweet coming-of-age adventure. Kiki, the 13-year-old protagonist, is a lovely role model. Yes, she's a witch, but she's a good one who doesn't manifest her magical powers in any way but flying. There's some mild flirting and a couple of close calls while Kiki's in the air, but otherwise this is a positive pick that could be a family classic.
- Families can talk about Kiki's character. How does she compare to other characters in animated movies? Do you think she's a role model?
- What foreign movies have you seen? How do foreign movies compare to those made in Hollywood?
- What makes a good family movie? What kinds of movies do kids and parents enjoy watching together?
- What kinds of messages about growing up does this movie send? Can kids relate to Kiki's loss of confidence? What helps her gain back her strength?
The good stuff
Educational value: Kiki teaches kids that they should appreciate their friendships and not treat people like outsiders. She also makes it clear that it's important to love what you do.
Positive messages: Some of the positive messages include keeping a positive outlook, being generous and helpful even when you don't have to be, valuing your family and friends, and staying true to your passions, whether it's art or baking or, in Kiki's case, flying. The movie also emphasizes that it's OK to occasionally feel out of sorts or second guess your talent, because everyone feels that way once in a while.
Positive role models: The young protagonist is a wonderful role model. Kiki's selfless and always so generous with her time, willing to help her friends and customers, and often refusing to be paid when she goes above the call of duty. She's also very sensitive and doesn't understand the petty and rude way some kids her age act. Toward the end of the movie, Kiki rises above her insecurities to help save her friend.
What to watch for
Violence and scariness: Kiki comes close to falling off her broom during a wind gust and ends up falling through trees in one scene. She later incurs the wrath of angry crows who think she's trying to steal their eggs. Kids afraid of storms will be worried for her and Jiji as they fly through a rainstorm. Tombo nearly plummets from a great height, but is saved before he's seriously injured.
Sex: Tombo continuously flirts with and expresses his interest in Kiki. He asks her on a date, calls her, and visits her several times. They ride a bicycle together, blush in each other's presence, and share one hug after a near-death experience. Jiji falls in love with a female cat who at first doesn't give him the time of day. By the end of the movie, Jiji and the cat have had kittens together.
Language: Name calling like "stupid" and "snooty."
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue