Movie: Ponyo (2008)

Posted 26 June, 2015 by Lianne in Entertainment / 6 Comments

An animated adventure about a five-year-old boy and his relationship with a goldfish princess who longs to become a human.


I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to get around to watching this movie, lol. I guess it’s because I only had this and The Wind Rises left to watch and I was just prolonging the inevitable 😛 This looked cute and fun so I decided to watch this film first.

…And indeed this film was as fun and wonderful as the trailer made it look! It was an absolute joy to watch sea life come to life (…pun intended?) in this film, from the magic that Fujimoto created at the beginning to watching sea life take over town life as Sosuke and Ponyo travel by boat in search for Sosuke’s mum. It’s absolutely stunning; the first five minutes before opening credits was just an absolute delight to watch. I could’ve easily watched a whole movie with Ponyo and her sisters mucking around as the beauty of life just floats on around them. What was especially surprising–and tying in to the storyline–was how sea life from early ages of life on earth were making an appearance (I’m especially impressed that Sosuke were able to name some of them at the age of five) 😛

The story itself was very interesting, Ponyo’s journey to becoming human vaguely resembling The Little Mermaid. Here though Ponyo first encounters Sosuke as a fish, then takes matters into her own hands to become human using her magical abilities when she’s ripped from Sosuke’s company. I love that a) Ponyo’s such a curious character from the moment the viewer meets her and b) her sisters help her out whenever they can, much to their father’s chagrin. It’s adorable and I love it. Ponyo sending time with Sosuke is a delight; child-like, of course, as they’re only five, but delightful nonetheless in the simple things like having tea and having ramen (oh man, that ramen looked so good, left me hankering for some afterwards 😛 ). It was also interesting how powerful she was. It was interesting to see Sosuke’s life as well, from his mum working at the senior centre to his dad being away a lot at sea as a captain. The old ladies that his mum takes care of were interesting and sweet (even cranky Toki).

As delightful and as gorgeous as the movie was, I wished it was a bit more fleshed out at some parts and that certain characters had more interaction.

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

Overall I enjoyed watching Ponyo and found myself chuckling quite a bit at some of the things Sosuke or Ponyo or the others said or did or just from the sheer delight of the world that Hayao Miyazaki created with this film. It’s definitely kids-oriented so there’s that lightness too to the story. As a final, random aside: I watched this movie in Japanese with the English subtitles but I did go back to watch a few of the scenes with Fujimoto in English because I saw from the cast listing that Liam Neeson voiced him. It was pretty funny. Anyway, definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for something happy and fun to watch and/or are a Studio Ghibli fan!

Rating: ★★★★☆

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6 Responses to “Movie: Ponyo (2008)”

  1. This is such a great movie! I’m glad you finally got around to watching it! I particularly loved the visuals with the sea and the waves. However, as you mention, parts seem rushed. The ending, I thought, was a little unclear and the characters seemed not to respond to some things with the urgency I would have expected. Still, another fantastic movie from Miyazaki.

  2. Aw, I remember watching this at the cinema years ago, but after reading your review it turns out I can’t remember much of it, aside from how lovely the images were! I’m glad you enjoyed it, even it there were some sticking points. I think I might have to re-watch it!

  3. The film is beautiful – I think Miyazaki’s films shine when depicting nature, as the animation style is so organic. I happened to have watched it quite a lot of times this year, since it has become my niece’s favorite film!

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