Ponyo

"Good"

Ponyo Review


As with Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle, Miyazaki takes us on a strange flight of fantasy with this adventure centred around two young children. While it continually stimulates our imagination, it's a little too odd to really resonate.

Sosuke (voiced by Jonas) is a 5-year-old living in a cliff-top house with his frazzled mother (Fey) while his fisherman dad (Damon) spends most of his time at sea. One day, Sosuke finds a strange little fish named Ponyo (Cyrus). What he doesn't know is that Ponyo's the daughter of the Mother of the Sea (Blanchett) and the keeper of balance (Neeson), and that Ponyo is using her powers to become human. Actually, Ponyo doesn't seem very aware of this either, but whatever she's doing is throwing nature out of balance.

While there's a clear environmental message, with vivid images of pollution and strong comments on the damage humans inflict on oceans, we are continually distracted by surreal, fantastical imagery rendered in that unsophisticated, flat anime style. This isn't to say that the film isn't eye-catching; it certainly is. Colours swirl and shapes emerge from each other to create fascinating flow of water and creatures that's so inventive that it's impossibly to conceive where it might go next.

Young children will be entranced by this imaginative approach and by the story of a boy and girl facing a series of outrageous magical situations. But it's not so easy for the adults in the audience, since the characters written rather thinly and drawn fairly awkwardly. Although the animators continually catch us off guard with moments that are truly wondrous to look at. And as usual Miyazaki is unafraid to let things get rather creepy and scary along the way.

It's these touches keep the film from ever being dull. Ponyo gets the impulse (and ability) to become human after tasting blood and eating meat. Her father has a plan that will restore the balance of the oceans at the cost of humanity.

Sosuke's best friends are three cranky old ladies (Leachman, White and Tomlin).

And his mother is an almost comically terrifying bad driver. These challenging, witty touches are what make Miyazaki's films so unforgettable.



Ponyo

Facts and Figures

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th August 2009

Box Office USA: $14.8M

Box Office Worldwide: $187.5M

Budget: $41.7M

Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures

Production compaines: The Yomiuri Shimbun, Studio Ghibli, Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV), Dentsu, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, Walt Disney Company, Mitsubishi, Toho Company, Taikei Office, Asahi Soft Drinks Company, Lawson

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Fresh: 146 Rotten: 13

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Yuria Nara as Ponyo (voice), Hiroki Doi as Sosuke (voice), as Fujimoto (voice) (as George Tokoro), Tomoko Yamaguchi as Lisa (voice), Yūki Amami as Grandmammare (voice), Kazushige Nagashima as Koichi (voice), Akiko Yano as Ponyo's Sisters (voice), Shinichi Hatori as Anchorman (voice), Tokie Hidari as Kayo (voice), Eimi Hiraoka as Kumiko (voice), Rumi Hiiragi as Young Mother (voice), Tomoko Naraoka as Yoshie (voice), Nozomi Ôhashi as Karen (voice), as Toki (voice)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

Demolition Movie Review

Demolition Movie Review

With its darkly emotive themes and brittle humour, this well-made drama by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas...

Bastille Day Movie Review

Bastille Day Movie Review

An attempt to muscle in on Luc Besson's Taken-style of thriller, this is an odd...

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises...

Jane Got a Gun Movie Review

Jane Got a Gun Movie Review

With its grindingly low-key tension and unusual perspectives, this Western has a chance to revamp...

Criminal Movie Review

Criminal Movie Review

Almost criminally entertaining, this preposterous thriller mixes buckets of humour and emotion into the violent,...

Advertisement
The Jungle Book Movie Review

The Jungle Book Movie Review

Using remarkably photorealistic animation, this remake of the 1967 Disney classic is warm and enjoyable,...

Eye in the Sky Movie Review

Eye in the Sky Movie Review

Almost forensic in its approach, this smart thriller explores a drone strike from a variety...

Midnight Special Movie Review

Midnight Special Movie Review

Gifted director Jeff Nichols takes on another genre in his fourth film with actor Michael...

Boulevard Movie Review

Boulevard Movie Review

This dark, introspective drama hinges on one of Robin Williams' final film performances before his...

The Huntsman: Winter's War Movie Review

The Huntsman: Winter's War Movie Review

Aside from success at the box office, there was nothing about 2012's rather uneven fantasy...

Black Mountain Poets Movie Review

Black Mountain Poets Movie Review

It's fairly obvious that the cast and crew began making this film with only the...

Victoria Movie Review

Victoria Movie Review

One of the most breathtaking films of the year, this ambitious story shifts from a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.