Itís not from Studio Ghibli, though it certainly looks like a Ghibli film. Actually, Modest Heroes, Vol. 1 is from Studio Ponco, formed by various former Ghibli artists and animators. They arenít shy about utilizing the Ghibli look. But then again, why should they be? Itís a good look.

Modest Heroes is made up of three short films. Combined, the running time for all three is under an hour. I guess they want to leave you wanting more.

The first film is Kanini and Kanino, two child fairies, or pixies, or what I am not sure. But thatís not important. They are of a race which can live both in and out of water. Separated from their father, they must brave dangers to be reunited with their family. This is the best and most beautiful of the three. It also has a clever twist on story-telling. Using as little dialog as possible, you still follow everything.

Life Ainít Gonna Lose follows a boyís struggles with a violent allergy to eggs. One taste could kill him. Still he copes, and we see him accepting the challenge to survive.

Finally we get a touch of surrealism with Invisible, the story of a man who is both physically and metaphorically invisible. You could at least see his clothes, his Vespa, and the fire extinguisher he carries around to weigh himself down. But people still walk by or even through him as if he was not there.

Modest Heroes, Vol. 1 can be caught on Netflix Streaming. It is quite an impressive small work. I am eager to see volume 2.