The Ghibli Museum Anime Shorts, each running about 15 minutes long, are animated short films created by Miyazaki Hayao that can only be seen at a single venue in the entire world – the Saturn Theater in Ghibli Museum, located in Mitaka, Tokyo. Indeed, the animated shorts were created specially for visitors to the museum and have never been released commercially, “allowing children to enjoy them without being influenced by commercialism”, as Miyazaki-san mentioned during a past interview.
(above) Movie pressbooks for the three of the shorts that I’ve seen – The Day I Bought a Star (bottom), House Searching (top left), and Mei and the baby Cat Bus (top right). To the best of my knowledge, only six short films have ever been made, and at any given time only one film is scheduled for screening at the theater, meaning one will have to make repeat trips to the museum to catch different films. If you have plans to visit the museum and wish to watch a particular film, do check out the screening schedule here.
“The Day I Bought A Star” (星を買った日) was the first short I saw on my inaugural trip to Ghibli Museum.
Based on an original story by Naohisa Inoue, ( who also worked with Miyazaki-san on “Whispers of the Heart”) The Day I Bought A Star follows a boy, Nona, who leaves home and soon finds himself walking in the desert alone, where he starts to sow seeds of stars instead of vegetables. Athough a primarily a children’s film, the story also touches on more mature themes like the coming of age and loneliness; the vibe of the film is somewhat similar to the darker moments in Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service.
(above) The cast members. Kamiki Ryunosuke, who voices Nona was also the voice for Yubaba’s baby Bo in Spirited Away. ( below ) I absolutely adore the lovely graphical icons they use for the end credits.
(above) Inoue Naohisa, who wrote the original story, illustrates breathtakingly beautiful vistas of fantasy landscapes, of which the background art of this short took reference from. A few years ago my senior Martin gave an autographed copy of his postcard book to me as a present, ( below ) with Inoue-san saying “Study Hard ! ( for your Japanese )”
You can purchase a copy of the Inoue Naohisa postcard book by following the image link below.
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Has anyone out there watched “The Day I Bought A Star” when they visited Ghibli Museum ? What are your afterthoughts ?13