Saturday, August 15, 2009
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, a Japanese director well known for great animation, "Ponyo" will not disappoint. The "G" rated film is beautiful to look with vibrant colors and fluid motion. The story itself is a variation on "The Little Mermaid", except this time it's a fish who wants to become human.
What's very trippy about this film is the little fish has a human face, turns part chicken before becoming human and falls in love with a five year old boy, wise beyond his years. While it's a simple tale at the core, it's also very weird and that gives it some extra appeal for older kids and adults.
The film takes place in a coastal Japanese village but all the dialog is in English by an A-list of actors including Cate Blanchett, Tina Fey, and Liam Neeson as well as Betty White and Cloris Leachman. For the kids in the audience, they will recognize Noah Cyrus as Ponyo and Frankie Jonas as SoSuke, the little boy who finds her on the beach.
There is some sub text about saving the planet and restoring the balance of nature but it gets so strange, that you shouldn't try to figure it out. Keep it simple and enjoy the heartwarming story of Ponyo's adventure.