Iblard Jikan is a short animated film that almost perfectly distills the Studio Ghibli spirit in its brief 30 minute span. Directed by Naohisa Inoue, who also handled the similar dream sequences in Whisper of the Heart, Iblard Jikan is devoid of story and is instead a vibrant piece of living art. Paintings of the magical world of Iblard are set, with minimal animation, against the orchestral and synthetic musical compositions of Kiyonori Matsuo as a tour into the heart of the Ghibli aesthetic.
Without a story to distract, Iblard jikan draws the viewer into this world where Victorian and Art Moderne-influenced cityscapes teeming with characteristic airships and trolleys are wonderfully integrated with vivacious natural life. Steep, mountain-hugging villas are topped by lush greenery as pathways and trolley rails wind through pristine waterways. Pastel flowers and vines color a society that seems to have discovered the appropriate limits of necessary technology while living holistically with the natural world.
It is not without its outright fantastical scenes of floating mountains and multitiered lakes, but the real inspirational beauty of Iblard Jikan is in how it can just as well serve as concept art for our own world. This shows us a vision that does not eschew technology but does know its proper place, which is integrated with and in deference to life: human, animal and vegetable. In this is reflects, distills and crystalizes Ghibli themes that run through such films as Castle in the Sky and places as the Studio Ghibli Museum.