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Ponyo review

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1 Ponyo review on Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:08 pm

Hayao Miyazaki is an icon unto himself as a result of the body of animated masterpieces he’s come up with. From the cuddly cuteness of Totoro, to the beauty and terror of his imagination through Princess Mononoke, each film, though a bit different from the others, never ceases to amaze people worldwide. Gake no Ue no Ponyo, or what is better known as Ponyo (On the Cliff By the Sea) offers us a different sort of take on The Little Mermaid from which his own creative spin yields – again – great results. A sweet balance of innocence, fantasy and love combine within the world of Ponyo.

‘Ponyo, Ponyo, is a little fish child. From the blue sea is where she came from…’ These simple Japanese lyrics open up the plot of the fish girl called Ponyo (Noah Cyrus), who travels away from the ocean world and her sorcerer father (Liam Neeson) in order to explore the ‘outside’ world. Along the way she’s scooped up by Sosuke (Frankie Jonas) who lives only with his mother Lisa (Tina Fey), while his father (Matt Damon) is out at sea. Ponyo’s feelings for Sosuke grow, as she yearns to be human like he. Also contributing to the English dubs are the voice talents of Cate Blanchett, Lily Tomlin and Betty White.

The simple yet soft beauty of the two dimensional drawings is quite refreshing, offering us a warmer tone along the lines of My Neighbor Totoro. The animation flows wonderfully around the more child-oriented storyline. The story, as previously mentioned, is a spinoff of The Little Mermaid’s tale with more of Miyazaki’s imagination coming into play to make you believe that true love can be found even at such a young age. Granted, whereas most of these fairy tales have a very strong antagonist, this one’s kind of withers away. Moreover, most watchers should be scratching their heads as they wonder how a mother would so easily accept all of the strange happenings going on, especially when a girl shows up whose name is the same as your son’s former goldfish. There are those little dents within the storyline that if you wanted to you could pick at, but really, who wants to detract from the (fairly solid) story when the scenery is all so pretty?

If you’re a fan of Hayao Miyazaki, I highly recommend this. Granted, if you’re looking for another Princess Mononoke this does not offer you so heavy a story, but if you want to bring the family and the kids for just a little sweet and funny tale this is it. Check your local listings to see if this is playing anywhere near you.

[xxr rating=4/5]

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2 Re: Ponyo review on Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:17 pm

Very nice review.

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3 Re: Ponyo review on Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:19 pm


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4 Re: Ponyo review on Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:48 pm

I can't wait to see it myself.

And it occur to me, they also done Castle in the Sky sometime ago and I love it.

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