Posted by: Miles | September 20, 2009

Film: Ponyo


Director Hayao Miyazaki has made another brilliant new animated film for Studio Ghibli, the Japanese studio responsible for Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, How’s Moving Castle and many, many more. The movie makes, at best, very little sense. It involves a magical fish (with a human head) who’s father is an underwater dwelling wizard who hates humanity. Our little fish decides to sneak out one day and ends up meeting a young human boy and within an afternoon the two five year olds have formed a friendship that can’t be broken. Of course this doesn’t stop her grumpy dad from trying. Yet all his best efforts to get Ponyo (the aforementioned fish child) back into the sea culminate in her absorbing unimaginable cosmic powers! Soon havoc breaks out in her quest for friendship, human form and ham.

The plot may be a bit incoherent at times but two things stand out from this film: the dialogue and the visuals. While most animation studios have today moved to increasingly realistic 3D computer animation Studio Ghibli have gone in the other direction, keeping things looking traditional and even getting further abstract. Some of the scenes are beautifully rendered, with animated figures walking around a landscape that appears to be drawn with coloured pencils. It’s simply stunning to look at and only gets more fanciful as the the plot rolls on: giant waves of water made from magical fish, children running on water, huge mystical gods of the sea, prehistoric fish going about their business in your backyard, the list could goes on and keeps thing interesting through most of the film. The dialogue is mostly between two five year old children and as such is incredibly weird but almost believable much of the time. It’s very charming and funny, i challenge you not to laugh when Ponyo makes her remark about wizards and evil.

Overall it’s not a perfect film but is just the kind of nonsense that should make your day.





  1. HAM!

  2. Man, you were totally right, ham is a key component of that movie, i did a quick rewrite and made sure to mention Ham!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: