What it’s about: A family of foxes harbours a secret treasure: a map passed down through generations. But just as it’s being handed to our unnamed protagonist, a young fox eager to prove himself, pirates break in and take it for themselves. When the ronin pig samurai Buta hired by the pirates runs into the protagonist, it sets off a chain of events that offers the promise of regaining the family’s treasure
Why you should watch it: Buta is a fairly standard “odd couple” show, with the personalities of the two protagonists rubbing up against one another in fairly funny ways. This isn’t an overly serious piece – it’s pretty much perfect as a short movie to sit down and watch with your kids. The larger-than-life characters, bright animation, goofy humour and simple storyline make it a fun family adventure.
Caveats: The writer seems to forget that they only have twenty minutes to work with, leading to a rather abrupt cut-off.
Themes: Living up to expectations placed upon you.
Similar works: Buta would fit in well with the early Disney canon. All it needs is a few musical numbers thrown in. In terms of anime, perhaps Spirited Away is closest.