Continuing my series of how to distract children during winter break: Luckily for me, Chicago’s Music Box Theater kicked off a Studio Ghibli festival the day after Christmas, a tribute to the famed Japanese animation studio. Yesterday we saw Castle In The Sky, one that wasn’t even on my list, but the timing was right (a.k.a., fighting kids were about to make me tear my hair out). And it was astonishing: Besides being among the kids’ first subtitles, the animation and wonder in Hayao Miyazaki’s movie show why he’s referred to as “the Japanese Walt Disney,” a title he hates. Young Sheeta is descended from the people who built Laputa, a magical floating village, and her new friend Pazu helps her find it. On their quest, they’re sought by government officials, pirates, and the mysterious Muska, resulting in many thrilling chase sequences. And even the mystical land, once they find it, isn’t as idyllic as legends have foretold. We were so overwhelmed by the magic in this movie that we are going back on Saturday to see Kiki’s Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke. But if you haven’t checked any Studio Ghibli films out yet, I encourage you to remedy this asap. Unfortunately, they’re really hard to find streaming, so unless you’re in Chicago this week, you can order the DVDs on Amazon or try your luck at a local video store, if you still have one. [Gwen Ihnat]

Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story of 1970s Funky Lagos

I received this album a few years ago and I’ve been spinning this at least several times a month. Just a superb collection of Afrobeat (part two found here) for longtime lovers and newbies alike. [Kevin Pang]