In the film, Kiki's Delivery Service, the small black cat that Kiki keeps with her a sort-of familiar is Jiji. Jiji can talk, and is quite incisive, really.

In the middle portion of the film, Kiki loses touch with her powers and Jiji goes silent. Yet, by the end of the film, Kiki's powers are restored, but Jiji remains silent. Why?

3 Answers 3


Kiki's Delivery Service is a coming-of-age story. The changes reflect Kiki gaining maturity and independance. According to the Nausicaa.net FAQ:

Jiji doesn't speak (in human words, at least) to Kiki anymore, because they grew up, not because she lost a power. In the original book, it is explained that a witch girl and a black cat are raised together from infancy, and that's why they can "talk" to each other (notice that Kiki's mom never talks with Jiji directly). They are able to talk to each other because of their close relationship, rather than magic itself (a cat being able to live so long could be magic, though). Miyazaki made Jiji not be able to talk to Kiki even after she regained her power to show that Kiki has grown, and doesn't need her "other self" anymore. Miyazaki says, "The most important thing for Kiki is [...] whether she can meet various people on her own. As long as she is flying on the broom with her cat, she is free. But, to live in a town, to get training means that she has to be able to walk the town alone and talk to people, without her broom or her cat." Kiki and Jiji can start a new relationship as independent personalities. They remain friends, with other meaningful relationships (such as Lily and the kittens for Jiji) added on.

  • 7
    Something the Disney dub killed by having Jiji talk again in the finale. Dec 27, 2012 at 20:45

From wikipedia

The depiction of the cat, Jiji, changed significantly in the Disney version. In the Japanese version Jiji is voiced by Rei Sakuma, while in the English version Jiji is voiced by comedian Phil Hartman. In Japanese culture, cats are usually depicted with feminine voices, whereas in American culture their voices are more gender-specific.[40] A number of Hartman's lines exist where Jiji simply says nothing in the original. Jiji's personality is notably different between the two versions, showing a more cynical and sarcastic attitude in the Disney English version as opposed to cautious and conscientious in the original Japanese.

Kiki and Jiji (sitting on Kiki's back) flying by the clock tower in Koriko just after arriving. According to Helen McCarthy, the "vibrant" Stockholm-inspired city gives a sense of safety as well as independence.[41] In the original Japanese script, Kiki loses her ability to communicate with Jiji permanently, but the American version adds a line that implies that she is once again able to understand him at the end of the film.[42] Miyazaki has said that Jiji is the immature side of Kiki,[43] and this implies that Kiki, by the end of the original Japanese version, has matured beyond talking to her cat. Hartman's final line which implied that Kiki could understand Jiji again was removed.


No adult could understand the cat in the movie because they were all grown up. When Kiki grew up and was confident she didn't need jiji but they can still understand each other ❤️

  • 5
    Isn't this the same answer that has already been given (but the existing answers have more detail)?
    – Blackwood
    Jul 8, 2016 at 23:55