Thursday, 29 October 2009

Ponyo: Movie Review

Ponyo: Movie Review

Rating: 8/10
Cast: Frankie Jonas, Tina Fey, Noah Cyrus, Liam Neeson, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
From the renowned animation stable of Studio Ghibli, comes Ponyo.
Or to give it its full title - Ponyo on a Cliff By The Sea.
A 5-year-old boy, Sosuke (voiced by Frankie Jonas) adopts a goldfish (the titular Ponyo played by Noah Cyrus)when she emerges from the sea one day having escaped from her father, the king of the ocean (voiced by Liam Neeson.)
However their friendship is torn apart as quickly as it's begun after the seas reclaim her.

But Ponyo works a way out to become human and return to her friend - yet, her desire could signal the end of the world.

Studio Ghibli animation is always a delight - and this latest offering from the stable of Hayao Miyazaki is no exception.

(This version is the American one which has been redone - with Miyazaki's permission by Walt Disney and released worldwide - the Japanese version is also out there if you look hard enough.)

It's a truly enchanting tale - based on the Little Mermaid clearly; but Ponyo is sweet and quite beautifully animated with traditional drawings as opposed to the computer animation so prevalent in today's cinematic world.

The backgrounds are pencilled and the characters are animated - in many ways Ponyo is simplistic and childish - in a good way - as it makes it accessible to all.

In fact the children in the audience were completely entranced by the vivid animation and beautiful orchestral score as they sat spellbound. It's a gorgeous world which has been created - one which shows man and nature at balance and in harmony.

Ponyo has a pure heart and joy about her - even when a tsunami threatens to engulf a town, the visual of Ponyo, in her human form, skipping over the waves brings a smile to your face.

A work of pure fantasy and one which shows there's plenty of life left in Studio Ghibli, Ponyo is a magical dizzying treat with gorgeously sumptuous visuals and sounds for all ages.

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