|wAug 17, 2009|
"Ponyo" is not my favorite film made by Studio Ghibli, but saying that is like saying, "It's not my favorite of this group of BEST MOVIES EVAR."
Sosuke is a boy who is sometimes more mature than his mother. He doesn't cry when his father stays out working for a few days, and at the age of five, he already knows how to signal complete sentences on a beacon light to passing ships.
Ponyo is a goldfish who wants to be a human. Her presence in each scene gives the audience representations of pure joy, pure love, and pure confidence. I wish I could be like Ponyo!
The movie is basically a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid."
I really liked Sosuke's mom. Her being voiced by Tina Fey probably helped a lot. But I also like how confident she is, how she is totally capable of functioning like a single mom when she has to, how she doesn't hesitate to tell her husband that she's mad at him, how she takes charge when the power goes out - knowing exactly how to turn on the power generator, set up an antenna, and being able to go help the elderly while putting trust in her capable son.
Also....I feel like this is a pretty pro-feminist movie? Miyazaki always have strong female characters, but in this movie especially, Ponyo's dad is a big jerk, literally keeping her inside a bubble!
And what was up with humans never being held accountable for their polluting the waters?? It's brought up, but never dealt with in a way that resolves things.
I'd like to know more about the past lives of Ponyo's parents.
I think one of the things I like the most about the films of Studio Ghibli is watching how other people live and function in the world. Such a complete picture of their lives is created, and characters always seem to know exactly how to do things when confronted with a crisis. I'm impressed that characters always know how the things that they own operate - their houses, their cars, their appliances, whatever. It inspires me to know more about how to take care of my belongings (especially my car, which I know nothing about, :[ ) so that I don't have to freak out every time something breaks.
Also, I REALLY would like to own a lamp that plugs into the wall like that! So awesome!
I think that my favorite part was at the end, when Sosuke said, "I love all of the Ponyos." I was like, "OMF, my boyfriend loves all of the Jackies! Even the crabby ones!"
I guess my main critique of the movie is that the plot moves a bit slowly, but I happen to like watching scenes in Ghibli films that simply show the characters functioning in their houses, or quietly sharing a meal.
In conclusion....go support quality anime movies being played in American theaters! Ponyo made a good showing this weekend, but you can help it! I think that this is the most widely-released anime film in the U.S. in terms of how many theaters it's playing in.
And if any of you are looking for good entry points for anime, I highly recommend beginning with films made by Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, Whisper of the Heart, Porco Rosso, Kiki's Delivery Service, etc.)9:11 AM
Ponyo is REALLY CUTE. That's the one major thing it had going. It's slow, but it's REALLY cute. We've all been spoiled lately with "intellectual Ghibli", but its time we had something that was just cutely entertaining. Though I do agree with you about the accountability....it's brought up, then not really dealt with.
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