All in Anime

Makoto Shinkai's VOICES OF A DISTANT STAR

It is a fantastic achievement. The art work is better than most of what you see on ADULT SWIM (by a very wide margin), the design of the spaceships and alien vessels is beautiful, the combination of simulation and electronic display inside the power suits looks quite original, and the story, while short at 28 minutes, packs an astonishing amount of information and story elements in while not swerving from the relentless focus on these two emotional lovers, communicating (one way) over a gulf of light years.

Hayao Miyazaki's SPIRITED AWAY

Back when I first heard the story of Spirited Away I thought that this would never go over big in the U.S. (young girl gets lost in an abandoned amusement park populated by vacationing spirits and seeks a way to turn her parents back into humans from pigs?) I thought it would make an excellent candidate as a simultaneous theatrical/DVD release, given its probable small target audience.