Ponyo (Gake no ue no Ponyo)

Rated G (MPAA) 100 min. 2009

Serious artists take children seriously. Hayao Miyazaki's social interest in the dependence and vulnerability of childhood is back in Ponyo. It's a deceptively simple movie. Like his My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo has no obvious antagonist. But its understanding of young life is rich and exciting. The benevolent fantasy of five-year old Sosuke whose "goldfish" Ponyo turns into a human little girl arrives in the West translated in English by E.T. scribe Melissa Matheson. As in that kid fantasy landmark, and recent CJ7 and Coraline, Ponyo is an expression of a kid's inner-world that eventually turns to their deeper awakening. Sosuke's relationships with Ponyo, his parents, grandparents, neighbours and nature offer multifaceted (and felt) communal understanding. The animated sights of tidal waves imagined with eyes, and schools of fish illustrated in storybook abstraction, will endure beyond novelty-of-the-month District 9. Ponyo observes the everyday, magically and truthfully. –Mark Palermo

Film Credits

Official Site: www.disney.com/Ponyo

Director: Hayao Miyazaki, John Lasseter, Brad Lewis and Peter Sohn

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki and Melissa Mathison

Producer: Toshio Suzuki, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Steve Alpert

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Noah Cyrus, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Frankie Jonas, Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin and Betty White

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