Miyazaki’s Ponyo is both Beautiful and Creative! Movie Review

When most people think of the great names in animation, the two that usually come up the most are Walt Disney and Pixar.  Well, I believe that there another name that should be included in this list is Hayao Miyazaki.  He is the genius that has created such classics as Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro.  If you haven’t seen these movies, go out and rent them as soon as you can.  It’s hard to describe his movies other than saying part fairy tale, part fable, totally original, epitome of Japanese anime style, and expanding the limits of imagination.

His new film is called Ponyo.  It’s a simple story involving a young gold-fish (at least that’s what they called her although she has a human face and didn’t look like a regular gold-fish) that gets rescued by a boy who then takes care of her.  She realizes that she loves the boy and wants to become a human herself.  Her father is a wizard who lives in the sea and has powers of the fish and the waters itself and her mother is the goddess of the earth or ocean.  Think along the lines of The Little Mermaid.  There’s also a little bit of social commentary about the pollutions we pour into our waters and how it can affect the balance of nature and man.

This film is beautiful both visually and creatively, however it does seem to lack some of the magic from some of the previous works of Miyazaki.  He does however get more back to his roots with a more simple story line and more of a child-like animation and perspective.

I would not consider this one of Miyazaki’s best films, but it is certainly better than most animated films you see now-a-days and it is a worthy addition to his most impressive list of credits.  If you enjoy his films at all, go see this before it leaves the big screen.

~J. Chandler

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