More Miyazaki

Finally saw two more Hayao Miyazaki films on DVD last week: Kiki’s Delivery Service and Castle in the Sky. Both are, of course, fantastic, and you should see them.

Castle is the earlier of the two, and is convulsively, exuberantly imaginative, full of flying contraptions that should never work and other stunning bits of brain candy. It’s a full-on adventure story that reminds me somewhat of Tintin — but on shrooms.

Kiki is, for a movie about a young witch who flies around on her broom, somewhat more down to earth; like Spirited Away, it’s about, and mainly for, young girls — an animé Bildungsroman. It’s lighter and funnier, too. Two words: the cat. Voiced in the English version by the late Phil Hartman, the cat is a show-stealer.

In both films, Miyazaki, who is reportedly obsessed with flight, animates it very well: you can absolutely feel the wind when someone is in the air. Oh, he’s good.