As if we didn’t know by now, Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) is a master of traditional animation. In his new film Ponyo, he once again awes us with another spectacular film.
Ponyo tells the story of a young goldfish girl who enjoys sneaking away from her father’s watchful eye to enjoy a bit of solitude. Once she encounters the human boy Sosuke, all she wants is to become human so she can be with him. Sounds a little bit like The Little Mermaid, right? Don’t worry, the similarities stop there. The rest of the film is a fantastic ride full of Miyazaki’s magic, adorable moments, and lots of laughs.
I’m an avid lover of traditional animation, so for me, the highlight of any Miyazaki film is the spectacular work put into them. I found myself watching the backgrounds on occasion, taking in the details of the trees, a cluttered space, and the plentiful undersea life. The beauty and effort the animators put into the film is obvious, and I’m one movie-goer who wishes we could get more quality 2D films.
The movie has a great voice cast that includes Liam Neeson, Tina Fey, Cate Blanchett Betty White, and has Noah Cyrus and Frankie Jonas in the starring roles.
I was fortunate enough to catch an advanced showing on Monday night, but I’m already eager to see it again. If you’re a fan of Miyazaki’s masterpieces, you won’t be disappointed. If you’ve never seen one of his films, I highly recommend them. They’re delightful movies for all ages; I hope you check it out!
Review By: Jessica Mahn