Finished watching the magical tale that is Ponyo (2008). It was a crime that it was not nominated for the animated Oscar this year.
[Ponyo is] a willful fish-child who escapes her human-hating magician father (Liam Neeson) and treks to land, where she bonds with Sosuke, a 5-year-old boy voiced by the Jonas Brothers’ younger sibling Frankie Jonas. A surfeit of wild magic activated in the wrong place and time turns Ponyo human and reunites her with Sosuke, while also returning the already lively ocean around Sosuke’s home to the Devonian age, with gigantic, ancient fish-ancestors sporting in the waves....
While the story is modeled on a traditional fairy tale and a traditional love story, it’s more primal than it looks. In keeping with Miyazaki’s usual motifs, Ponyo’s attachment to Sosuke is an unthinking force, as avid and single-minded as the decapitated forest spirit in Princess Mononoke, or the crazed, murderous Ohmu in Miyazaki’s Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind. Miyazaki never lets viewers forget that Ponyo is human-shaped but not actually human; her shape shifts and dissolves back toward fish-dom whenever she exerts her magical powers. In this and other things, the story operates on a fluid dream-logic, or the storytelling logic of a very small child: Events melt into each other without urgency, and a simple act like making and drinking tea is treated with the same complacent, wondrous gravity as magic that calls wave-monsters into being. Even so, older kids and even adults are unlikely to get bored, thanks to the story’s unforced sweetness, giddy highs, and stunningly beautiful visuals. Even in the unspoiled Devonian, real life never looked this good.
Hayao Miyazaki's films are beautiful, heartwarming, charming, and yet not overly saccharine or sentimental. The underlying themes to his movies are heavy with the restorative and optimistic nature of the human spirit, a rarity in this bitter irony and sarcasm driven culture of our modern times.
Are you familiar with the Japanese director's amazingly imaginative works? Which one is your favorite?
Howl's Moving Castle (2004) Spirited Away (2001) Princess Mononoke (1997) Porco Rosso (1992) Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) My Neighbor Totoro (1988) Castle in the Sky (1986) Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
want to see this, the only one on your list i haven't seen is porco rosso
Sat 13 Mar, 2010 10:08 pm
I am a huge Miyazaki fan. I haven't seen this most recent movie though.
Sat 13 Mar, 2010 10:15 pm
Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
Spirited Away (2001)
Princess Mononoke (1997)
Porco Rosso (1992)
Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Castle in the Sky (1986)
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
Favorite!?! Are you serious? Do you have a favorite, yourself, Tsar? My first Miyazaki movie was Totoro. I adored its magical innocence. Then I saw Spirited Away. It's magical as well, but less innocent - more dark. I think I saw Kiki's next. It's cute, but not phenomenal. The Miyazaki movies celebrate nature and our place in it. They have characters who come to grips with what is right (over what is most wanted, sometimes). And the artistry is outstanding.
I find it has an anime look which I find as disturbing as clowns. It may be a generational thing. I also like animation that has an airbrushed etheral look and not so flat and angular.
This was the way Disney forst did his animation back in the thirties.
Sat 13 Mar, 2010 10:36 pm
If I was going to put them in order of deliciousness (aka favorite):
1. Spirited Away (2001);
2. Howl's Moving Castle (2004);
3. Princess Mononoke (1997);
4. Kiki's Delivery Service (1989);
5. Ponyo (2009);
6. My Neighbor Totoro (1988);
7. Porco Rosso (1992);
8. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984);
9. Castle in the Sky (1986).
Sat 13 Mar, 2010 10:37 pm
fman, Miyazaki is not your average anime. Actually, I dunno if I'd even call his work anime.
Sun 14 Mar, 2010 12:27 pm
Your description makes it sound very good. But the official trailer I saw looks awful.
I own the movie Spirited Away and I like it, but it's not one of my favorites. But I freely admit that I don't have a very "artistic" eye. Whatever it is that people see in these movies is mostly escaping me.
Ponyo is one of his most childish films and its animation is seemingly designed that way. I really like it as its not burden down with the typical Disney formula of needing at least one Ne're-do-well villain and the side characters are predictable one caricatures just to exist for their singular one dimension joke points in the film.
One example: The mother in a Disney film would be dismissing every little thing the child says even though the child and the audience knows better ... wink wink nudge nudge ... parents are so out of it style movie cliches.
Sun 14 Mar, 2010 12:46 pm
Rosborne, they're also meant, ultimately, for younger audiences.
That could be part of the problem. Well, I have a daughter now, so maybe when she gets older she will watch it with me and I can try to see it through her eyes. I'm actually looking forward to re-watching a lot of things with her to see how she sees them
Otherwise you're going to have to have a movie night and explain everything to me
Wed 5 Jan, 2011 06:38 pm
Happy 70th birthday Hayao Miyazaki, my favorite director of all time!