3 Lessons We Can Learn From Hayao Miyazaki's "Kiki's Delivery Service"

October 6 2022

The legendary Hayao Miyazaki directed and produced Kiki's Delivery Service, which was released in Japan as an animated movie in 1989. It was based on the novel written by Eiko Kadano.

Majo no Takkyuubin was the original name of the movie when it was released in Japan. In English, it translated literally as the Witch's Express Home Delivery. When the English dub was released in America in 1998, the movie title was simplified to Kiki's Delivery Service.

A flying scene from Kiki's Delivery Service.

A flying scene from Kiki's Delivery Service.

This coming-of-age movie is about a witch named Kiki who has just turned 13 and goes away from home to begin her witch training. The adventure follows her making new friends, facing personal challenges, and dominating uncomfortable social situations.

Here are three lessons we can learn from watching this iconic animated film. Be warned that there are spoilers in the article, so do not read on until you have watched the movie if you prefer to view the it "unspoiled"!

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1. Not Everyone Has the Same Gift

The few witches in the movie have their own gifts. Kiki's mother's gift is mixing potions. Her mother remarks that she is worried about Kiki because she still has to master the art of flying and she has not been able to teach her daughter how to mix potions yet.

The senior witch that Kiki meets when she first leaves home has the gift of fortune-telling. Kiki wonders about her skill as a witch after the senior witch leaves to land in her city.

Kiki's only witch-related gift is flying, which she is still trying to perfect and control. When she meets Osono, a woman who owns a bakery with her husband, Kiki figures she can use her flying powers to deliver baked goods to surrounding patrons in their city, because the couple is expecting a baby soon.

Everyone has different gifts, and you have to use yours to the best of your ability. Do not attempt to be like someone else.

2. Sometimes You Lose Touch With Your Gift

In the middle of the movie, Kiki temporarily loses her witch powers. She can't fly, which means she stops making deliveries to clients for the bakery. Kiki has to mind the bakery shop until she gets her powers back.

She goes to her friend Ursula for advice, the young woman who lives in the forest and loves to paint. Ursula shares a similar experience that all she wanted to do was paint and then realized one day that she could not do it anymore.

Sometimes we lose touch with our gift because of a lack of inspiration, loss of practice, or other circumstances that prevent us from tapping into it. Inspiration to tap into your gift again can come from something unexpected, as Kiki experienced when she got her flying powers back.

Kiki recovers her powers to rescue her friend Tombo from a certain death.

Kiki recovers her powers to rescue her friend Tombo from a certain death.

3. Your Gift Will Reignite at the Right Time

If you lose touch with your gift, it will definitely reignite at the right time. For Kiki, she realized that her friend Tombo was in great danger, hanging from a dirigible while on a test flight.

Even though her broom broke when she originally lost her witch's powers, she knew she somehow had to tap into her flying abilities to save her friend. She borrows a janitor's broom when she gets to the city, gets on it, and digs deep within her spirit. Much to the surprise of the city folk, she starts levitating in the air and takes off swiftly after she whispers, "Fly".

While it was difficult to control the broom when she first took off, she was able to save Tombo just in the nick of time. She received cheers and recognition from all the townsfolk. In the end, she was glad her gift reignited at just the right time to save her friend's life.

Final Thoughts

What is your gift? Was there a time that you ever lost it? Whatever your gift, you will get it back as you tap into your spirit and find your inspiration. Kiki wanted to help others, which helped her to reignite her flying powers. What will be the trigger that reignites your gift?

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