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Welcome to a world where anything is possible! Academy Award® winning director Hayao Miyazaki (2002, Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away) and legendary filmmaker John Lasseter together with Disney bring to life a heartwarming and imaginative telling of Hans Christian Andersen s classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid. A young boy named Sosuke rescues a goldfish named Ponyo, and they embark on a fantastic journey of friendship and discovery before Ponyo s father, a powerful sorcerer, forces her to return to her home in the sea. But Ponyo s desire to be human upsets the delicate balance of nature and triggers a gigantic storm. Only Ponyo s mother, a beautiful sea goddess, can restore nature s balance and make Ponyo s dreams come true. Ponyo will delight your family with its magnificent animation and timeless story.
Ponyo confirms Academy Award®-winning director Hayao Miyazaki's reputation as one of the most imaginative filmmakers working today. Loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson's "The Little Mermaid," Ponyo is a magical celebration of innocent love and the fragile beauty of the natural world. The daughter of the sea goddess Gran Mamare (voiced by Cate Blanchett) and the alchemist Fujimoto (Liam Neeson), Ponyo (Noah Cyrus) begins life as an adventurous little goldfish. Chafing at her father's restrictions, she goes in search of adventure and meets Sosuke (Frankie Jonas), a good-natured 5-year-old who lives by the sea. Sosuke adopts Ponyo and quickly wins her heart. Fujimoto uses magic to bring her back, but Ponyo's love for Sosuke proves stronger than his elixirs. She transforms herself into a human girl and returns to him during a spectacular storm at sea, but her metamorphosis upsets the balance of nature, precipitating a crisis only Gran Mamare can resolve. Ponyo contains fantastic moments that suggest dreams-- and reassert the power of hand-drawn animation to create memorable fantasies: No effects-laden Hollywood feature can match the wonder of Ponyo running along the tops of crashing waves on her way back to Sosuke. Ponyo is closer in tone to My Neighbor Totoro than Spirited Away or Howl's Moving Castle, and will appeal to audiences of all ages, including small children. The #1 film in Japan in 2008, Ponyo earned more than ¥14.9 billion (over US$155 million) to become the 8th highest grossing film in Japanese history. (Rated G: A few scary moments, alcohol use) --Charles Solomon
- World of Ghibli – An Extraordinary Interactive Experience
- Enter the Lands – Meet the characters and hear the story of the movie
- Behind the Studio – Discover the film’s inspiration through documentaries, including all-new interviews with Hayao Miyazaki
- Meet Ponyo – Introduction by the Producers
- Storyboard Presentation of the Movie
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There are times, and they have become more frequent in recent years, when Miyazaki struggles to bring his fantasies to believable conclusions. "Howl's Moving Castle" (2004) suffered from a nearly incomprehensible ending, and the problem is not wholly overcome in "Ponyo." The culmination of this movie has the 5 year-olds make major decisions that, in reality, could hardly be demanded of them. By comparison, the younger sister in Miyazaki's definitive "My Neighbor Totoro" (1988) was around the same age and acted more in accordance with it. In "Ponyo" the children's behavior seems to be increasingly at the service of the story's environmental message, and this prevents them from becoming quite as real and relatable as the girls from "Totoro," "Kiki's Delivery Service" (1989), and "Spirited Away" (2001). Nonetheless, "Ponyo" is further and welcome evidence of Studio Ghibli's unrivaled mastery of the animated medium.
Imagery shows the beautiful and potentially dangerous relationship we have with the ocean.
Things about the movie I didn't like: the Public Service Announcement thrown in about people being bad and littering in the ocean. Yeah, some do. Do we need to talk about it in the movie? Perhaps. Maybe that's why the guy was ready to kill all humans... which he forgets by the next scene where he tries to marry his fish child off to the human baby. So that seems a little abrupt to me. Early childhood betrothal is a weird topic, but if little guy knows who he wants to marry when he's 6 then good for him, I guess.
You could edit maybe two minutes out and add two more minutes of water in and I'd be left with nothing to complain about.
This review is part of my home-schooling class on Japanese anime films. We researched anime as a genre and have seen all of Hayao Miyazaki's films remastered into English.