Great Animated Film! The film is simultaneously stunning in its beauty and endearing in its simplicity, unrestrained enthusiasm walking the edge between inspired brilliance and mind-addling delirium. At its core, its about love, that between the family members of Koichi, Lisa and Sosuke, and especially between mother and son. More so, it's about the love between the boy and his new pet fish which he christened Ponyo, and I tell you Ponyo herself has enough cuteness in her to beat the likes of Bolt, WallE and Eve all hands down. Characterization here is top notch, and it's hard not to fall in love with Ponyo, in whichever form adopted, especially when she's such a playful being who doesn't hide her emotions - if she's upset with you, either she turns away or you could expect a jet stream come spewing from her mouth into your face! Like a modern day fairytale, the film tells a timeless story of friendship and love that will surely be cherished in years to come.
The son of a sailor, 5-year old Sosuke lives a quiet life on an oceanside cliff with his mother Lisa. One fateful day, he finds a beautiful goldfish trapped in a bottle on the beach and upon rescuing her, names her Ponyo. But she is no ordinary goldfish. The daughter of a masterful wizard and a sea goddess, Ponyo uses her father's magic to transform herself into a young girl and quickly falls in love with Sosuke, but the use of such powerful sorcery causes a dangerous imbalance in the world. As the moon steadily draws nearer to the earth and Ponyo's father sends the ocean's mighty waves to find his daughter, the two children embark on an adventure of a lifetime to save the world and fulfill Ponyo's dreams of becoming human.
If "Ponyo" were a well of imagination, it would be shooting up water all over the place. It's overflowing with very diverse, strange, and unique imaginative settings, effects, and characters. See, the thing about Pixar is how they take stories that have occurred to adults and place them upon cute animals, children, or children-friendly protagonists. The journey these characters take are tweaked to appeal to children but "Ponyo"... wow, everything is created from the imaginative vision and mind of a child.
There's creepy imagery and strange concepts going on, but "Ponyo" is entertaining throughout. The transition from the Japanese voice actors to the American? Almost flawless. Great move to get professional A-list actors to substitute for the original voice actors -- I wouldn't even know if the Japanese version or American is better. The only problem I had with this movie is that though it is visually spectacular, it could've been MORE entertaining but other then that, "Ponyo" is one of those animated movies that any child and adult will willingly invest their attention to.
"Welcome To A World Where Anything Is Possible."
Ponyo, simply put, is one of the best animated films I have seen. It's a beautiful and overall delightful movie that is just a joy to watch. It kind of makes you feel like your five years old again. It sucks you in and you can't take your eyes off it. It is like watching another, better world. The film does what a lot of animated movies don't, in that it is as engrossing plot wise as it is visually. And that's saying a lot because visually this is a masterpiece.
The story starts with a five year old boy, Sosuke, finding a gold fish in the ocean. He names it Ponyo and spends the say with it only to lose it at sea and that's when the real magic starts. The American version has a superb voice cast including Cate Blanchett, Liam Neeson, Matt Damon and Tina Fey. The film has enormous heart which is shown through the love of Sosuke and Ponyo.
It isn't as confusing as I had expected, but it does have some elements of, "So what is going on?" I would expect kids to be infatuated with this movie though, purely because of the spectacle. Little kids don't need to understand every little detail of the plot, they just need something beautiful to look at and this is it. For adults, it has a lot of substance and makes for an extremely enjoyable hundred minutes. Family films don't come much better than this.
Mayazaki's latest tells the story of Sosuke, a young boy who finds a little goldfish on the seashore one day. Sosuke and the goldfish become very attached and he decides to call her "Ponyo". Ponyo has human features being the child of a magician and a sea godess and she longs to be fully human one day but her being out of the ocean causes an imbalance in nature and the balance can only be restored if she can be truly loved by Sosuke.
"Ponyo" is a treat for all ages and once again Mayazaki achieves in creating the look and feel of otherworldly places with his basic yet very effective art work. His characters are always endearing and well thought out but the only problem with "Ponyo" is that it lacks the darker side that "Spirited Away" benefited from. This leaves it a little whimsical and straying more to the childish side of animation. However, this is a small criticism and it's still difficult not to get swept away by the whole delightful adventure.
I needed a good animated experience to remove the mediocrity of Howl's Moving Castle from my brain, and Ponyo more than delivered. It's a simply beautiful movie (which is to be expected), but so was Howl. What makes Ponyo so much better, is that it sticks to a simple story, and tells it very well. This was obviously made so a younger child could easily follow it, but it's equally as captivating for adult viewers.
There's no big world-ending disaster to prevent, no dastardly villian to escape, and no heavy-handed moral. There is a very slight message about taking care of the oceans, but that never interferes with the charming little story that's being told. Things never become bigger than the relationship between a 5 year-old boy, and his unusual new friend. And the plot greatly benefits from that narrow focus. If I absolutely must nitpick, the middle of the movie wasn't quiet as marvelous as the excellent beginning and strong ending. Still, I'd recommend this movie to absolutely anyone. If you don't like it, you just don't have a heart.