Ponyo - Review

Rating: G - General Audiences

The Plot: Ponyo on Blu-ray Hi-Def and on DVD is the latest release of Miyazaki's work for Studio Ghibli. A sympathetic Mermaid story with a happy ending. The underwater world is lush, soft and serene, the topside world, colorful, clear-cut and noisy.

The plot is simple - little girl fish meets little boy human, falls in love and wants to become human, but the execution is amazing; oily mini dolphins that turn into giant blue waves with eyes; a dip into Wagner with a school of Valkyrie fish coming to the rescue of their Brunhilde; a sea goddess reveling in ancient Devonian sea; and how he uses older characters to round out the story, adding to the magic.

Bonus Material: I am a fan of Miyazaki's work and so hit the bonuses first because I wanted to know more about him and the studio. He talks about being in a TV production studio and realizing that he didn't want to spend his life there. He didn't begin with animation but with writing an illustrated story book. The name Ghibli means "Hot Wind". Now you know.

The dedication of his producer, Toshio Suzuki comes across - he says that when Miyazaki hands him the drawings - he will find what ever is necessary to produce the movie - even at one time, building a real playground. Pixar's John Lasseter seems equally impressed with Miyazaki. The storyboards section of the bonus section presents the entire film in storyboards - an amazing bonus indeed.

Voice acting has become more and more important in animations and games, so you get behind the scenes of the actors. Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, Cloris Leachman, Betty White, comedian Lily Tomlin and Noah Lindsey Cyrus (as Ponyo) and Frankie Jonas (as Sosuke) all seem to be enjoying themselves immensely.

This is just one of four Disney's releases of the works of Studio Ghiblil at this time: Ponyo (2008), Kiki's Delivery Service (1998), My Neighbor Totoro (1993), and Castle in the Sky (1986). If there's a girl in you family - for heaven sakes - get them all. The Blu-Ray package includes a standard DVD as well.

Fun Factor: Fun and pleasure at the creativity
Female Factor: In a Miyazaki film, girls are the heroes.

Reviewed by: Editor - Mar/10

  • Ponyo
  • © Studio Ghilbi/Walt Disney Studios
  • Platform(s): DVD Blu-Ray
  • To Order: DVD http://www.amazon.com/ $24.99