In Japan, Ghiblies Episode 2 was the top half of a double bill with The Cat Returns. They are also packaged together for the Japanese DVD, which is especially nice, given how expensive these things are. Yes, DVDs in Japan are $45. Yes, that is a baffling crime.
It's a real shame that Ghiblies 2 wasn't brought here to the States alongside Cat Returns. For me, it's the better film by far, even if it only runs for half an hour. But, to be fair, this was the project by the studio's seasoned hands, while Neko no Ongaeshi was the work of the younger kids. They do make a nice pair together.
This is a great poster. I especially like the parody logo at the top left. Who was that man's name again? He's featured as the narrator of a "history of Ghibli" video on the Nausicaa DVD. Somebody check up on that. The scene depicted here comes from my favorite short from the film. It's such a beautiful piece of nostalgia, and a masterful melting of 2D and 3D animation.
Ghiblies 2 is one of those great "kitchen sink" films where the artists and animators have free reign to run amok. It also allows them a chance to experiment with CGI, instead of the feature films, where Ghibli - and Miyazaki especially - are far more cautious. Now they are complete rebellion against the computers. Who knows how long that will last?
The word is out that Yoshiyuki Momose has the green light to direct a new Ghibli film. Will it be a Ghiblies Episode 3? I do hope so. Momose is one of Ghibli's great hidden talents. Between Ghiblies 2 and the trio of Capsule music videos (seen on the Ghibli Short Short DVD), he's the best anime director the Americans haven't heard of. Miyazaki isn't the only one who works there, ya know.