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A Hayao Miyazaki Film

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The new "Little Mermaid"

  • Aug 18, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
From Hayao Miyazaki, the master of Japanese animation, comes a story similar to The Little Mermaid, where a small and ever-so-cute fish-like female becomes infatuated with a land dwelling male, and moves heaven and earth, and a lot of ocean to try to make her dream come true.

Short attention span summary (SASS):

1. Fish girl lives with her father and siblings in an aquarium-like home inside a really cool submarine with flippers.
2. Headstrong and clever, she sneaks out to see the surface, and encounters the debris of human civilization, immediately getting into trouble.
3. She is rescued by a young boy, and a strong bond is forged between the two.
4. Daddy comes to the rescue to save his kidnapped child
5. ... but finds that girls just wanna have fun
6. Everything goes topsy-turvy until her mother shows up


Ponyo is a wonderfully entertaining movie for young children, and although not as strong in plot as Miyazaki's other movies like Princess Mononoke or Howl's Moving Castle, the animation is excellent, and the story will touch your heart.

There is no shortage of voice talent, with Noah Cyrus (Miley's little sister) as Ponyo, Frankie (the bonus) Jonas as her friend Sosuke, and also Tina Fey, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson, Cate Blanchett, Cloris Leachman, Betty White and Lily Tomlin.

This is one to see with the entire family, but falls just short of perfect with a few too many inexplicable elements. Recommended for the fantastic animation, simple plot, characters and ecological message, and very strongly recommended for families with young children.

Rated: 4.5 stars



Amanda Richards, August 15, 2009

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More Ponyo reviews
review by . March 03, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
Miyazaki has been a favorite of mine for many years. If there is one artist I can say has never let me down, it is Miyazaki (well, him and Tolkien, so you see how highly I regard his work). Every one of his movies are amazing, from his epic masterpieces Princess Mononoke and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, to his more down to earth family affairs such as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. So how does Ponyo stack up against the other films in Miyazaki's arsenal?     Well, …
review by . August 17, 2009
Ponyo is the latest creation by the master animation director Hayao Miyazaki, and it is completely hand drawn, and in the world of CG dominating the world of animation, this is a welcome and refreshing change of pace.      Ponyo is a magical gold fish, her father is a humanoid living under the sea named Fujimoto, and her mother is a goddess of the ocean, and one day, she was caught in a glass jar while escaping a fishing net, and was rescued by a little boy named Sosuke.  …
review by . September 20, 2009
posted in ASIANatomy
U.S. poster
     Among my favorite anime films are Hayao Miyazaki‘s “Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away” (won Best Animated film); those two films are truly masterworks of animation accompanied by a very intricate storyline. “Howl’s Moving Castle” was good but I thought it was a bit of a mixed bag. Miyazaki’s eighth film for Japanese animation company “Studio Ghibli”, “PONYO On The Cliff” (full title: Gake No Ue …
review by . August 17, 2009
Sosuke and Ponyo take a look underwater
Miyazaki's films are refreshing for their even pacing and tempered characters. A far cry from the neurosis of Disney characters where everyone is shouting and riding on high octane. Ponyo is almost completely silent in its first 10 or 15 minutes, and even when the dialoug begins it has more of a sobering effect. If you pair that with the gorgeous hand drawn characters and hand painted backgrounds you suddenly remember what animation felt like twenty-plus years ago.      The story …
review by . August 10, 2010
posted in ASIANatomy
Ponyo (which is also known as Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea) is a film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. For this film, Miyazaki chose to make a completely 2D film, and not utilize any 3D computer effects. This approach gives Ponyo a very distinct feel when compared to some of the more recent films that have been produced by Studio Ghibli. However, I believe that the simplicity of the animation really works well with the story being told in the film. Ponyo is a very family-friendly film, and …
Quick Tip by . April 07, 2010
I really enjoyed the animation & music, but the story & characters were severely under-developed. Plot felt rushed.
review by . September 02, 2009
Title: Ponyo    Director: Hayao Miyzaki    Starring: Cate Blanchett, Noah Cyrus, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Frankie Jonas, Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin, Betty White    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1    Studio: Studio Ghibli    Genre(s): Family    Rated:            I'm not normally so blunt in my movie reviews, but I think to beat around the bush for a Hayao Miyazaki film is a futile attempt. So I'll put …
review by . December 13, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Ponyo is a young fish-girl who loves to explore, but her father, a great wizard of the sea, fears the chaos her untamed powers could unleash upon the world. He's right to worry, since she, like every young undomesticated child, is an elemental force of nature who has little respect for the boundaries that grownups take so seriously. She escapes and meets up with a young boy whose imagination at least is a match for her magical powers - and it is love at first sight. Not romantic love but something …
Quick Tip by . October 30, 2009
An endearing movie that will appeal more to younger viewers, but adults will also enjoy. See it If you liked Miyazaki films like Totoro!
About the reviewer
Amanda Richards ()
Ranked #38
I write reviews for a hobby. Most of my reviews are short and to the point, on account of my short attention span. I try to make my reviews both informative and entertaining, and sometimes I succeed. … more
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Wiki


Ponyo
is a 2008 Japanese animated film by Studio Ghibli, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is Miyazaki's eighth film for Ghibli, and his tenth overall. The plot centers on a goldfish named Ponyo who befriends a five-year-old human boy Sōsuke and wants to become a human girl.

The film has won several awards, including the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. It was released in Japan on July 19, 2008 and August 14, 2009 in the US and Canada, where it reached #9 in the box office charts for its opening weekend.

The plot is centered on a fish girl who lives in an aquarium in her father's underwater castle with numerous smaller sisters. When her father takes her and her siblings on an outing in his four-flippered submarine, she is driven by a desire to see even more of the world and runs away. She ends up stranded on the shore and is rescued by Sōsuke, a five year old boy who lives on a cliff. After taking a great liking to her, Sōsuke names her Ponyo and promises to protect her forever. Meanwhile, her father, Fujimoto, is looking for his daughter, upset that she ran away. He calls his wave spirits to return Ponyo to him. Sōsuke is heartbroken by this, and goes home with his mother, Lisa (or "Risa" in some translations), who tries to cheer him up, but to no avail. Ponyo and her father have a confrontation, where Ponyo refuses to let her father call her "Brünnhilde". She declares her name to be Ponyo, and voices her desire to ...
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Details

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Genre: Family
Release Date: 14 August 2009 (USA)
MPAA Rating: G
Screen Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
DVD Release Date: March 2, 2010
Runtime: 101 minutes
Studio: Studio Ghibli
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