Movie Reviews

Film Review: “Ponyo”

(Disney. 1 hour, 40 minutes. Rated G. Directed by Hayao Miyazaki.) Featuring the voices of Cate Blanchett, Noah Cyrus, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Frankie Jonas, Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin, Betty White. Music by Joe Hisaishi.

Ponyo (Cyrus), a young goldfish princess who runs away from her father Fujimoto (Neeson), yearns to be human after meeting and falling in love with young Sousuke (Jonas). Though aimed at a much younger audience than his more recent works, Ponyo possesses the hallmarks of a Miyazaki film: beautiful artwork; very expressive and mostly hand-drawn animation; plucky, resourceful children; an underlying message of environmental protection; and a rousing soundtrack by long-time collaborator Joe Hisaishi.

In this era of 3D animation, the folks at Studio Ghibli never cease to amaze with their craft, from the colored-pencil backgrounds to the lush and exotic creatures under the sea. Miyazaki imbues this film with a sense of light-hearted whimsy that is lacking from so many children’s movies. Like his earlier film My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo exudes a magic that invites you to be a kid again, if only for a couple of hours. Try to not smile while watching this movie, I dare you. As in most Disney-produced movies, the voices are provided by an all-star cast and the presentation is top-notch, though I could have done without the tacked-on song at the end. While not his best film, Ponyo is a welcome addition to Miyazaki’s oeuvre and a great way to introduce a new generation of moviegoers to the works of a master.

Share

Jared Counts

Digital Technology Manager

A UH alum, Jared Counts was hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, bouncing between departments until being hired full-time as a web developer in Febraury 2007. He currently manages the front- and back-end of this website (including the WordPress plugin that runs this staff directory), as well as...

More Information