Koshiba Fuka Confirmed as Kiki for the Live-Action ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’

Koshiba Fuka, a 16-year-old figure skater, has been cast in the lead role as Kiki in the live action re-make of the animated 1989 Miyazaki classic. Kiki’s Delivery Service, translated (Witch’s Delivery Service), is based on the novel by Kadono Eiko. Takashi Shimizu was previously confirmed as the director.

Kiki’s Delivery Service, is a 1989 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It tells the story of a young witch living in a village where her mother is the resident herbalist. It is tradition that when young witches reach the age of 13 they must go out into the world and live a year on their own. Kiki heads off to the big city, taking her best friend Jiji, an outgoing, chatty black cat, with her.

Kiki and Jiji settle in Koriko where Kiki learns she only has one skill as a witch, her ability to fly on a broom. According to Miyazaki, the movie touches on the gulf between independence and reliance. Going far beyond coming of age themes, the story deals with creativity and talent, and whether through luck, hard work, or confidence, every person must become who they really are.

Kiki struggles with setbacks and adolescent worries, losing her power and purpose. When a local boy she has befriended is blown away by a gust of wind and left hanging from a dirigible, Kiki pushes herself to regain her flying power and save her friend.

First released in 1989, the film won the Anime Grand Prix prize. It was the first Studio Ghibli film released under a partnership with The Walt Disney Company. Disney recorded an English dub, with Kirsten Dunst as the voice of Kiki. The English dub was the last voice acting performance for actor Phil Hartman (as the voice of Jiji). Hartman died four months before the release. The dub is dedicated to his memory and has been proven very popular, selling more than one-million copies on video.

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