I've been debating with myself for some time whether I should feature movies for watching here at Conversations on Ghibli. Video sites like YouTube have provided a home, even if only a temporary one, for people to upload everything from fan-made music videos to theatrical shorts and feature films. I've uploaded a couple films for your viewing - Horus, Prince of the Sun, the 1984 Nemo pilot - and I've been seriously tempted to bring out more.
I added Horus and the Nemo pilot to this site because they were relatively obscure in the West. Chances are, you probably haven't seen them before stumbling onto this site. But the Ghibli films are another matter. With a couple very notable exceptions - Omohide Poro Poro, Umi Ga Kikoeru, Ghiblies Episode 2 - all of the studio's feature films is now available in America on DVD. You should already own them all.
Well, after a lot of thinking and pondering, I've come to a decision. The answer is Yes.
Yes, I'll be showing more movies here at Conversations. But we're going to set some ground rules first.
Rule Number One: You're going to buy all the DVD's that are available in the States, or your region of the world. The best way to show your support is with your wallet. That's what motivates the evil corporate businessmen. If we want to see more of Miyazaki and Takahata's pre-Ghibli works released in the States, we're going to have to demonstrate that there is a real demand. We are genuine fans. Not leechers, not pirates. That means you, junior.
Rule Number Two: Don't ask me where you can steal films over the internet. See Rule #1. If you want to see Animal Tresure Island or Puss in Boots, you're gonna have to cough up the cash.
Rule Number Three: Don't complain if or when YouTube or other such video sites take down something that's posted here. It's their neck that's on the chopping block, so they get to set the rules. That's life.
Rule Number Four: You will write letters to the DVD publishers of Miyazaki/Takahata movies (Disney, Discotek, Pioneer, Geneon, and Manga Video), thanking them for their support, and asking them to continue to release more DVDs in the future. Ask Manga to put out a better Cagliostro DVD. Beg and plead Discotek to release Horus, and have me and/or Ben Ettinger do a commentary track.
Rule Number Five: Send John Lasseter a fruit basket and thank him for pushing the Ghibli catalog through Disney. Be sure to thank him for that clever Miyazaki riff in "Cars." Ask him if Tales From Earthsea has a snowball's chance in hell of ever being released here.
Rule Number Six: God willing, we will soon be watching Omohide Poro Poro. You will bawl your eyes out at least once or twice. You will declare it to be the Greatest Movie Ever Made. You will vow to never stiff your family with "Disney Princess" videos ever again. Your daughters will thank you by going to college and not appearing in a future installment of "Girls Gone Wild."
Rule Number Seven: You will have a great time. Tell all your friends about COG's Movie Night.