Ghibli ga Ippai Special: Short Short
Short Short is an excellent DVD anthology of Studio Ghibli's short animations for film and television. It was released in Japan late last year alongside Howl's Moving Castle, and can be either purchased seperately or together as a box set with Howl's. I'd recommend the box set, which looks terrific will prove a valuable part of your DVD collection.
The shorts on this DVD were made from 1992 to 2005. The most famous, of course, would be Hayao Miyazaki's On Your Mark, the music video for pop duo Chage & Aska which played alongside Yoshifumi Kondo's Whisper of the Heart. This was Miyazaki's first animation since finishing the Nausicaa manga, and it can be seen as an attempt to "say goodbye" of his Heroine, to let go. It also happens to be a great visual feast, a self-contained universe of Miyazaki's various moods and styles. Too bad the music stinks.
Kondo's shorts are also present on Short Short, including The Sky-Colored Seed, which exuberates all the charm and vitality 90 seconds can muster. There are a number of commericals for Ghibli merchandise, Yomiuri Shimbun (the major newspaper) and House Foods; directors include Miyazaki, Kondo, Orami Tanabe, Shinji Hashimoto, Takeshi Inamira, and Yoshiyuki Momose. Momose, in particular, is one of the rising stars at Ghibli (he also directed Ghiblies Episode 2 in 2002). His three music videos for techno group Capsule in, 2004 and 2005, are likely my favorites of the whole anthology. I'll be sure to go into greater detail in future posts.
Bonus material includes Miyazaki's drawings for On Your Mark, a series of interviews with Ghibli animators, including Momose, and a long conversation between Toshio Suzuki and Meiko Kaigo. An illustrated 34-page booklet goes into detail on all the animations, and it's really the icing on the cake. All in all, an excellent DVD that no animation lover can do without.