Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ryan Watches a Motion Picture #10: Ponyo (2008)

The latest Studio Ghibli film directed by Hayao Miyazaki, the genius behind some of my favourite films: NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind, and Princess Mononoke. Ponyo doesn't seem to attain the level of emotional force and complexity that Miyazaki has reached in the past, but the colourful and intricate visuals are a wonder - if you love the sea and have ever dreamed of living in a breezy seaside town and in a house on the shore, you'll be thoroughly enamoured.

Ponyo's clearly more of a children's film than Miyazaki's other efforts, and has much more in step with My Neighbor Totoro than the intense and adult Princess Mononoke. Characters and their motivations here are simple and blatant, and the film's crux is in its wistful, magical sense of youth and imagination.

As always, the Disney-produced voice-dubbing is top-notch and sports A-list actors, so if you want to get more anime in your life but are loathe to read subtitles, the Miyazaki DVD releases will do the trick nicely.

So: I fucking love the sea and want to live there and meet the sea-goddess of mercy.

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