7 March 2010


Ponyo - Hayao Miyazaki

I've had the pleasure this week of reviewing three films that i would easily call the best three films i've reviews this year so far! All romantic and gentle films that spring memories of my childhood, my love of life and the wonders of the future. Something i haven't thought about since the last Miyazaki's film, Howl's Moving Castle, and even then, i watched as a double-bill with Spirited Away. That afternoon i felt like a child again and this weekend, i have the same feeling. I think about my future and whats in store. It's a wonderous feeling. Something that Disney and Studio Ghibli purposefully do. I've got the Studio Ghibli collection on DVD and it's a prize possession in my collection, a real die hard fan would have them, and watch them all the time and one day want to be a part of that system, which i want to. I want to be a part of a company who keeps producing high quality films for all ages. As a filmmaker, Ghibli, especially Miyazaki is a major influence on my work, even in the smallest details.

Ponyo, the lastest in the collection, follows the story of Sosuke and a fish-girl named Ponyo. Sosuke meets Ponyo, in the form of a fish and has a deep connection with. After being taken by her father back into the sea, Ponyo wishes to become human so she can be with Sosuke. She uses her father's magic to become human and meets with Sosuke. When she does this, the world becomes unbalanced and storms and high seas begin to appear. Sosuke and Ponyo must go find help and find Sosuke's Mother, which in turns tests the love of Sosuke and Ponyo. It's a simple plot about two people falling in love, and what they would do for each other, but it's told in such a childish manner, that it gives it a basic love feel, nothing sexually or harmful, just pure love for something. It's refreshing to see that. Classic Disney films are full of it, and that's why everyone loves them. It's gives love a pure quality, not like the purity rings and all that jazz, but just love, in it's simplist form. Adult and child will "get" the film and enjoy it. It's that simple. Obviously it's aimed at a younger audience, a little younger than the audience that was there for Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle because of the dialogue and action, Ponyo is less dark and scary and more about swooping lines and curvy creatures.

If Studio Ghibli release a film every year forever, i will be happy. I know many of the reviews i do, i almost pointlessly put a film down, saying how shit it is, but with this film, i can't fault it. I go all childish about it, like im a young boy again. I can't make dirty jokes about it. I would give it a ten or even a nine, but it's not as good as Spirited Away which is a 10 and Howl's Moving Castle which is a 9! Bring on next week's shit films! YEAH!


Simon Childs

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