|Formats:||U DVD, Blu-ray|
|Starring:||Cate Blanchett, Yuria Nara, Noah Cyrus, Hiroki Doi, Matt Damon, Tomoko Yamaguchi, Tina Fey, Frankie Jonas, Kazushige Nagashima, Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Akiko Yano, Lily Tomlin, Betty White|
|Genres:||Action/Adventure, Animated, Anime, Family, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, World Cinema|
|Original title||Gake no ue no Ponyo|
|Run time:||1 hour 43 minutes|
|Rental release:||07 Jun 2010|
By Tom Charity from LOVEFiLM
Hayao Miyazaki's latest animated feature about a goldfish princess scores a 5 star review.
Most helpful review
Miyazaki does it again.By a customer from ORPINGTON , 05 Jul 2009
[Highly rated reviewer]A young magical fish girl escapes from her home in the sea but ends up stranded on the seashore. She is saved by Sōsuke, a five year old boy who lives on a small cliff top house with his mother. Sōsuke names the fish Ponyo and promises to protect her - but Ponyo is soon captured and returned home. Ponyo declares that she wants to be human and live with Sōsuke, and after an accidental dose of her fathers magical elixir, Ponyo escapes again now in human form, unaware that this transformation has created an imbalance in the world with serious consequences looming.
Expectations are always high whenever Hayao Miyazaki releases a new film and for Ponyo that is no different. Yet within moments of the film starting, one begins to feel they are watching another hit in the making and by the end of it those feelings are confirmed. Whether Ponyo will be regarded as a Studio Ghibli classic, it is too early to tell but it will certainly make up for the bump in the road that was Miyazaki Jrs Tales from Earthsea.
This is essential Miyazaki, recalling the simplistic charm of My Neighbour Totoro combined with the fantastical elements of Spirited Away. Sōsuke is you archetypal Ghibli hero (only this time a male): young, impossibly intelligent and responsible beyond his infant years, resourceful and pure of heart. Ponyo in human form is a more hyperactive version of Mai from Totoro whose excitable helium voice and bouncing about (except when she is sleeping) may wear thin pretty quickly for some although Miyazaki manages to pull her from the brink of complete annoyance that some young females Anime characters dive headlong into.
Where the film falters slightly is in the story telling with some key matters left unexplored. For instance, we never learn why Sōsuke addresses his parents by their first names and not as Mum and Dad; nor is it explained what exactly the world threatening catastrophe is that will result in Ponyo becoming human.
The animation as one would expect cannot be faulted with Miyazaki once again eschewing CG technology for hand drawn cell animation, breaking his own recording for exceeding 170,000 images. The character designs are classic Miyazaki while the backgrounds and artwork are as sumptuous as ever. A special mention has to go to Joe Hiraishis excellent musical score that ranges from foreboding symphonic pieces for the storm scenes to gentle and emotive light orchestral numbers for the lighter scenes.
Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea is arguably Miyazaki at his most whimsical and accessible which should ensure a wide international audience. While not perfect, long time fans shouldnt feel disappointed by this film either and should rejoice that the master has put back his retirement - again!
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A pleasure to watchBy a customer , 08 Feb 2012Hayao Miyazaki has done himself and studio Ghibli (not sure of the spelling) very proud. I'm a big fan anyway, and was pleased to find a film by them that I hadn't seen before. I put it on when my 20 month old daughter was feeling under the weather. We watched the entire thing together. It's only the second film she's watched all the way through!
Beautiful animation and characterisation. The emotional side of it was beautifully written and empathic. I can't praise this film enough, it was lovely (and I shall be buying it as soon as possible!) I think it will become a family favourite.
Passes the daughter testBy a customer , 15 Jan 2012Quite good but not Totoro :)
Passes the daughter test (mine that can watch Nausicaa, Totoro and Princess Mononoke in unlimited quantities).
Warm, wise and wonderfulBy freedom1977 (4 reviews) , 22 Dec 2011Hayao Miyazaki has created another delightful story with pseudo mythical undertones and characters whose warmth and happiness light up the screen.
Its a simple and naive tale that explores the blossoming of a relationship between two young children, Ponyo, originally goldfish that transforms into a young girl, and Sosuke, a headstrong and confident 5 year old boy. As with most Studio Ghibli films, such as Spirited Away, the viewer is required to suspend reality and allow the fantasy elements come to light.
The highlight of the film for me is Ponyo herself, who's cheeky yet loving persona and innocent tenderness is heartfelt and engaging. This film might not appeal to an action movie fan but if you would like to escape to a happier place, this is the movie to watch.
Studio Ghibli delivers againBy Kazmom (6 reviews) from Edinburgh , 10 Dec 2011Another beautiful piece of animation from Hayao Miyazaki. Ponyo has all the magic and fantastical creatures of earlier Studio Ghibli offerings but doesn't quite deliver on the same scale as My Neighbour Tortoro, Kiki's Delivery service or Spirited Away. I found the translation a bit stilted but, really, it's all in the animation - the whole story could probably be followed without any sound at all! My 5 year-old loved it but found the magical aspects and the relationship between Ponyo and Sosuke difficult to understand so that required some explaining! All-in-all a beautiful story about love, friendship and the power of nature.
Really good - just not his best.By ansonort (21 reviews) from London , 20 Nov 2011
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Show review anywayHideAlthough I'm a great admirer of Miyazaki's work and his free-form imagination, I'd have to rate Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away higher just in terms of their adult appeal. This one is aimed for a younger audience. Don't get me wrong - it's adorable and the animation is fantastic. However, for me, it was just a little less weighty - even though a portion of the story deals with the stoic Japanese attitude to the constant threat of Tsunami. I'd also add that the colors are amazing and there are, as usual, some wonderful moments of animation.