Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ponyo - on a cliff by the sea

Do you remember when you were a kid and the adventures you'd go on? Do you remember how wild your imagination would go and the wacky situations you'd put yourself through? Ponyo, the newest from legendary Japanese director/writer Hayao Miyazaki (spirited away, princess mononoke) let's you relive some of these adventures only through the eyes of 5 year old Sosuke. Sosuke joins the pantheon of strong, young, independent lead characters in Miyazaki films, a trend Miyazaki has been doing for years.

The story begins when a young fish escapes from her father and is washed up onto the shore of a beach where Sosuke is playing, he saves the fish and decides he wants to keep it. He names her Ponyo and soon discovers that she has magical properties.This is one of those movies that makes you feel what the main character feels. You understand where he's coming from and even for a 5 year old, Sosuke is a wonderfully well rounded character. you fall in love with him from the moment he opens his mouth. Same thing goes for ponyo, with the added bonus of when she first opens her mouth she's a fish.

the marketing for this film is very much geared towards children. Even though i feel this is the closest thing to a kids film studio ghibli has ever made, some of the themes in the movie are very adult in nature. the characters are not "kids movie" characters and some of the animation looks like it was designed for adults tripping on acid, but then again most studio ghibli films are designed like that.

My opinion may be a little biased, seeing as i'm in love with the work of miyazaki. I have also never given any film of his less than 5 stars and it will not differ for ponyo. Though it may not be his strongest work, in my opinion that title belongs to the cat returns, i still absolutely loved this film and would recommend it to anyone who loves adventure and would like to be enveloped in the whimsy of childhood. the movie is perfect for everyone in the family, from 5 to 95, so long as they bring their imagination and their sense of adventure. five out of five stars

P.S. if you'rte not into animated films or japanimation, maybe this isn't the film for you OR maybe it's a great place to start

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