Puss in Boots, Animal Treasure Island - Buy These DVDs!
I was checking my archives and realized, to my surprise, that I haven't promoted or pushed these two movie lately. So here's the hard sell once again, Ghibli Freaks: Buy These DVDs!
Puss in Boots and Animal Treasure Island are two of my favorite films from Toei, blazing fast, brilliant designs, hysterically funny. These films come at the absolute peak or performance for our beloved Toei crew - Yasuo Otsuka, Hayao Miyazaki, Akemi Ota, Reiko Okuyama, Yoichi Kotabe, Yasuji Mori, Akira Daikuhara. I don't think they were ever as perfect a unit as during this period, which began with the long, difficult struggle to realize Isao Takahata's revolution with Horus, Prince of the Sun, then cutting loose in a flurry of cheery anarchy with Puss in Boots, Animal Treasure Island, and Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves.
Two action/comedy setpieces - the castle chase in Puss in Boots, the pirate battle in Animal Treasure Island - rank among the anime classics; the elements of action, suspense, and slapstick goofiness have no peer. These should be required study for all aspiring animators.
These DVDs were released in the US a few years ago by Discotek (they also released Toei's excellent 1979 film Taro the Dragon Boy), and I think it's safe to say they've all but disappeared. A crying shame, because these are wonderfully entertaining movies. Miyazaki fans should already have bought several copies to give to friends and family. At least, that's what I did.