Kiki's Delivery Service (1989/Heisei 1)
It seems unfathomable now, but in 1989, Hayao Miyazaki’s revered Studio Ghibli, which was founded in 1985, had not yet had a hit. ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’, the tale of a young witch who leaves home for the big city, adapted from the Eiko Kadono novel of the same name, needed to deliver at the box office or the studio would be in serious financial trouble. But perform it did, becoming the top-grossing film of Heisei’s first year. The film charmed audiences with its portrait of a young woman on a quest for independence – and her pet, cute talking cat Jiji, didn’t hurt either.