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Ponyo (2008)

July. 19,2008
| Animation Family
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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.


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Moonlight shimmers on an ancient sea and a curious little girl, Ponyo, escapes from under the watchful eye of her father and into the open ocean. She is a sea princess gifted with the ability to, among other things, shapeshift between fish and human forms. Yet at such a young age Ponyo does not understand her power. She gets too close to humans and to trouble, perhaps of her own doing. In opening her heart to a boy, Ponyo simultaneously opens a hole in the fabric of reality. The world hangs in the balance. This animated Studio Ghibli film is richly detailed, colorful, optimistic and imaginative. Despite outward appearances, the characters are incredibly intricate and wonderfully unpredictable. They surprise and delight at every turn. Miyazaki has such a good grasp of human nature, drawing and story-telling, and his work is thrilling to behold in all its forms. The artwork is incredible, such beauty even in grains of wood, clouds, stars, waves, light in eyes, the movement of grass in wind, and more.I was not fond of the film when I first saw it years ago. It seemed childish and simplistic, but I did not give it a chance. I skimmed past or outright missed the wonders, which are revealed with patience and understanding. Since Ponyo is not as long or ornate as other Ghibli films, it is easily overlooked by certain people (ahem, cough, cough). For a better experience, listen to it in Japanese.


I love Studio Ghibli films. There are the masterpieces, the great ones, the enjoyable ones, and the forgettable ones. Ponyo is this animation studios take on The Little Mermaid. It doesn't exceed to those standards but it's good. Studio Ghibli Films are always animated well. I liked the main character Soske because his life was very interesting imo. Most of the characters were likable except for that Sea Father or something. The scenes in the sea and in that land bubble were stunning like a dream. Breathing in water while fish swimming around you inside your house. I liked everything about the movie except that I felt that Soske and Ponyo's chemistry could've been a little less awkward with especially with that kiss at the end. Some of the movies story is kinda stupid with how the Sea Father guy started a tsunami just because Ponyo got alike there wasn't anything that different about her except her looks. And also one scene was just gross and barely made any sense. Let's just say it has a baby in it. Other than that, I liked it. Obviously not on Sprited Away, Porcu Roso, or Princess Mononoke's level but it's good. 7/10.


My wife and I watched this at home on DVD from our public library. Even though this is a 2008 movie the library only recently added copies.The animation is old style but very good. For this English version a whole new cast added vocals. The two main ones are the two youngsters, Noah Cyrus (Miley's little sister) as Ponyo and Frankie Jonas as Sôsuke .As the story starts Ponyo is a small fish in the ocean, but with a cute girl-like face. At some point she starts to long to be a real girl and she has an encounter with 5-yr-old Sôsuke when she gets stuck in a clear glass jar. He saves her. But her father and mother, wizards of the ocean, aren't sure. In the end Sôsuke has to show that he will love Ponyo and that will complete her transition.

Eric Stevenson

It's been way too long since I've seen a Miyazaki film. It's a shame that his films don't do near the box office reception of something like that awful Yu-Gi-Oh movie. Of course, this is still the highest grossing of his films. I truly believe this is close to "Spirited Away" as one of his best works. I guess it's because the animation is just so wonderful. I mean, it really seems like every moment of this film there is movement involved. There's a slight change in the outlines of all the characters.I had no idea this was inspired by "The Little Mermaid". It certainly seems nothing like the Disney movie. I personally don't find that one of my favorite Disney films and I find this much better. The voice work is fantastic. I'm generally not into celebrity voice actors but they make it work so well here. This film might be his most adorable. I guess it's just great to see Ponyo's miniature sisters swimming around everywhere.The plot is that there's this fish that escapes from her underwater home and meets a boy named Sosuke (yep, that reminds me of Sasuke from Naruto), making her want to become human. Every character is just teeming with cuteness. I especially love how realistic all the underwater creatures are. I think my favorite part might just be the first six minutes without dialogue as we see how well detailed they are. This really is one of the best movies I've ever seen. Not only is the pacing wonderful, but it's great to see a lot of the more mundane scenes like Sosuke's mother getting through her day. It shows that as strange as any animated film may be, it does in fact work hard to be realistic.This is only my third Miyazaki film, but already you can call me a fan. It even seemed like he was trying to imitate western animation more here. Ponyo as a fish and her sisters look a lot less like his normal style. It's always great to experiment with something new, especially for someone as great as him. Even every bit of the credits is adorable.I wish this guy would work for Pokemon! Hey, it's my first IMDb review! This is easily a 10/10!