(Update: This video has since been removed from Youtube. Sorry.)
Iblard Jikan was a direct-to-DVD project released late last year in Japan on DVD and Blu-Ray. It is based upon the work of fantasy artist Naohisa Inoue, who also contributed his work for the fantasy dream sequences in Mimi wo Sumaseba (Whisper of the Heart).
I wrote a post last December on the Iblard DVD here, so feel free to catch up. Fortunately, this short film is available on YouTube, so I thought it would be fun to watch it. Since there's next to no chance of ever seeing it commercially available here in the US, we may as well take advantage of this opportunity.
This is a very interesting and entertaining Studio Ghibli work. It's always a thrill for me to see the studio's amazing talent unleashed on a minor project, free from the tyranny of Miyazaki or Takahata. There is often a certain freedom, a greater sense of visual experimentation, in these shorts. These are very often the proving grounds for ideas techniques used later in the proper Ghibli films.
Iblard Jikan contains very little animation, which may be a bit of a surprise. The Inoue's artwork is the star of the show. The animators are only adding flourishes to his world. In fact, there really isn't any narrative present at all; only a travelogue of locales in the Iblard realm. The more cynical will toss this aside as a glorified slideshow, and they may be on to something. But it's very difficult to resist the quality of Inoue's psychedelic paintings. Does the DVD come with mushrooms?
If anything, watching this short only makes me want to sit down and watch Mimi again, one of my favorite movies, animation or live. For most everybody else, Iblard Jikan is a minor work for the dedicated Ghibli Freaks only.
Iblard Jikan runs about 30 minutes, in three segments.