Tonari no Yamada-kun and Neko no Ongaeshi

Last night we watched two Ghibli releases, both of them not directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The first one was TONARI NO YAMADA-KUN (MY NEIGHBORS THE YAMADAS), and I can’t recommend this enough. The animation style is very simple, like what you see in the image here. It’s based on a newspaper strip, and follows the trials and tribulations of a family called the Yamadas. It’s episodic, so you get little slices of life, and I don’t know how many times me and Yuko were almost on the floor laughing. It’s not as well known as other Ghibli releases (and is far from looking like one also), but do not overlook it. The other one was NEKO NO ONGAESHI (THE CAT RETURNS), a sort of follow up to WHISPERS OF THE HEART. This one feels more like a traditional Ghibli film, with very lush animation. This was good too, and had some good really fun moments. I got a kick out of hearing Mari Hamada (Modern Choki Chokis) voice one of the cats.