Friday, July 17, 2009


This delightful animated Japanese film comes from the same director/writer as Howl's Moving Castle which we both loved so we were seriously motivated to attend it.

Ponyo is a love story about a five year old (Sosuke, pronounced Sosski) and a goldfish (named Brunhilde but renamed Ponyo). Sosuke lives in an exotic cliff-top house with his nurse-aide Mum, Lisa, while his father works at sea. Ponyo lives in the nearby ocean and her parents are a bit more exotic - her father is a kind of magician with long hair and stripy trousers reminiscent of Uncle Sam, who was once human but now embraces everything oceanic and wants to engulf the planet in water, and her mother is a kind of goddess. Unsurprisingly, Ponyo has inherited a few magic powers.

Sosuke finds Ponyo in the sea below his house and carries her home in a bucket. A friendship is formed and Ponyo decides she'd like to become human and the film is the story of how that happens which makes an engrossing and enchanting story. It's very pretty to look at - the scenery is more like painting than cartoon and the storm scenes are just amazing. Ponyo herself is completely cute and I particularly liked the fish which morphed into waves and vice versa.

We weren't sitting close enough to any kids (there were plenty since it was the last afternoon of the school holidays but we were in a child-free row) to know how they felt about the movie but it's colourful, fun, imaginative, life-affirming and a little bit frightening - what more could a child of any age want?

Anne's rating 5/5 Ian's rating 5/5

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