Despite the general plot being a bit stale, the effort that's put into the stunning animation and witty dialogue is truly impressive. The characters grow on you, as Ponyo's general ignorance towards the human life is both adorable and hilarious. As the movie progresses, it takes a step forward from a cute little companionship, to unlikely adventurous duo. It takes a dive into a deeper storyline, filled with great surprises and solid morals. A mix of darkness and comedy, Ponyo stands up tall with the rest of Studio Ghibli's productions, and definitely makes the studio's work elevate to the standard of Dreamworks or Pixar.