Iblard Jikan DVD & Blu-Ray

Alright, folks, since I'm bringing all these movies up, I should offer more details to bring everyone up to speed. This is the DVD release for Iblard Jikan, which hit shelves July 2000.

This is one of the latest direct-to-video features from Studio Ghibli, which has been steadily expanding their library beyond the studio's major films (in case you haven't noticed). Documentaries, side projects, and a growing library of foreign movies from the great animation filmmakers that influenced Miyazaki and Takahata.

Anyway, Iblard Jikan is based on the fantasy world of Japanese artist Naohisa Inoue. His first connection to Ghibli was in 1995 with Mimi wo Sumaseba, aka Whisper of the Heart. He priovided the surrealist backgrounds for the fantasy scenes in the movie's second half, including that one scene that was directed by Miyazaki (where Shizuku imagines herself flying with The Baron through the air).

Inoue came to work with Ghibli again this year for the DVD, which is essentially a show-off work for the artists' skills. This is more of an art-lover's film, depicting Inoue's vivid and detailed paintings, with animations from Ghibli's wizards. The running time is only 30 minutes, but the DVD also includes a bonus CD (I didn't think anyone still made those, snicker).

Iblard Jikan is the first Ghibli Blu-Ray disc, and it's probably an excellent show-off for your new player and television. Standard DVD owners should be just has happy, at least until you see how much better the picture quality is on the new format. For me, at least, it's pretty tough to go back. Perhaps you can hold out a little longer before making that jump.

In any case, this is clearly something for the fans and completists. If you're more casual about your Ghibli, then don't feel as though you're missing anything significant. It's not the second coming of Totoro.

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