Not as profound as Miyazaki's other works, but the fact that an animated children's film actually has the brains to go for larger, resonant themes is worth congratulation.
| Original Score: B
Miyazaki's ode to motherhood; the sea is the greatest nurturer of all. The underwater sequences are some of Ghibli's most luminous, complex reflections of nature's teeming beauty.
The fantasy elements are so seamlessly blended with real elements. There is very little disbelief by the characters, and you want to believe yourself by the end.
| Original Score: 4/5
Apart from the ecofriendly message, we have, as always, Miyazaki's magnificently inventive animation, which is almost enough to carry the day.
| Original Score: 3/5
There's still plenty of gorgeous eye-candy to keep adults going if they've taken their kids along for some unthreatening entertainment.
Let's say you have a five-year-old child who's not all caught up in the details of boring, mundane reality. Here's that kid's new favorite movie.
For once, Japan's animation maestro is all at sea.
| Original Score: 2.5
Even when the film feels murky, Miyazaki's painterly eye keeps things afloat
A sweet love story about a boy and his fish, Ponyo is a weird yet wonderful children's fantasy, and marks another milestone in the career of Hayao Miyazaki.
A charming hand-drawn Japanese spin on Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid.
His antediluvian underwater creatures are gorgeous, a world removed from Finding Nemo, his sweeping tides and smashing tsunamis are a patchwork of colour and technique.
That rare children's movie that actually taps into the unique imaginative power of a child's mind.
| Original Score: 8.1/10
Though far from Studio Ghibli's best film, Ponyo is still a magical experience.
Significantly, Miyazaki creates realistic, valid and memorably attractive characters, such as the heroic-vulnerable-patient-nurturing-tough mother, Tina Fey.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
... this gentle storybook film is a simple, sweet tale animated with a delicacy unique to animated features.
While the animation in Ponyo is simplistic, even crude by many people's standards, there is no denying the film's dazzling color palette, masterful attention to detail and dizzying imagination.
| Original Score: 9/10
Shouldn't an anime' auteur of Hayao Miyazaki's stature avoid a story about a sea creature interacting with a human child? Isn't that "Finding Nemo?"
| Original Score: 2/5
Beautiful and thoughtful, Miyazaki once again shows he's a master of taking the magical and making it endearing.
Doesn't commit itself to mining our deeper feelings, and as such it feels much more geared to younger viewers; but with that comes dazzling displays of drawn and painted visuals, full of color, life.
| Original Score: 8/10
Though Ponyo contains images so haunting that it's hard to dismiss altogether, this is one of Miyazaki's feeblest efforts.