Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Live-action Kiki's Delivery Service movie has its first trailer, plenty of lens flare

Kiki's Delivery Service is one of the most beloved Studio Ghibli movies of all time, and so it makes sense that fans were a bit nervous when a live-action adaption was announced earlier this year.

Fortunately (?) Studio Ghibli isn't actually attached to the adaptation, which follows instead the literary source material from Eiko Kadono's six-volume Kiki's Delivery Service fantasy novels.  So, it's forgivable then that the smiling young Kiki on the screen doesn't match the animated Kiki from the 1989 classic.

Anyway!  Director Takashi Shimizu (of The Grudge / Juon fame)'s whipped up enough footage with 16-year-old figure skater Fūka Koshiba cast in the staring role to release a full trailer.

The results are.. not bad.

Hardly a glowing endorsement, admittedly, but the film's first teaser featured such shaky special effects that it was almost universally derided - if not viewed as a harbinger of the end times.  Thus, anywhere it went from there was bound to be an improvement.

So far, the live-action adaptation - dubbed Majo no Takkyūbin - is actually looking pretty good.  There's a young witch on a broom, we get to see the bakery she winds up working at, and it appears that she's actually delivering stuff at some point so purists shouldn't have much to complain about.

Although, many will note that it's a bit odd that Kiki's talking cat - Jiji - which featured heavily into both the books and the Studio Ghibli animated version - hasn't surfaced yet.  Here's to hoping the plucky little feline makes it into the theatrical release.

Majo no Takkyūbin has a release date of March 1, 2014 in Japan - there's no word yet about whether it will be released overseas but, given the all-Japanese cast and signage, I wouldn't be too hopeful to see it as anything other than a fan dub.