I feel oddly unsure of my status as a reasonable adult for having enjoyed this film so much but that’s not going to stop me from giving a review on it. PONYO!
The movie was awesome and if I was the only person over 3 feet in the theatre when I went to go see it then fine. I hold my head high in pride. Unlike a lot of English dubbed movies out there Ponyo was actually done very well. At no point did I cringe a little in my soul and wish for the Japanese voice talents along with some good subtitles.
Ponyo on the Cliff is about a fish named Brunhilda who lives in an underwater aquarium in her father’s castle along with hundreds of her little sisters. When her father takes them on a trip to see a bit more of the ocean they live in Brunhilda is driven to see more of the world and basically swims away from home. When she gets stranded on shore she’s saved by five-year-old Sosuke. Sousuke lives with his mother Lisa on a cliff overlooking the sea.
His father is a sailor and is often away from home leaving the two by themselves. Sousuke is surprisingly bright and responsible for a kindergartner so when he finds Brunhilda dying on land he saves her from being trapped inside of a bottle and cuts himself in the process. The seemingly dead fish lays still for a while before she licks up the drop of blood nearest her face.
That’s around the time the trouble starts.
Sousuke convinces his mother to let him keep her and from the moment he finds out that his cut has mysteriously healed and that his new goldfish has a liking for ham, he christens her Ponyo and seals his fate. Ponyo and Sousuke are beginning to grow closer they don’t realize that Ponyo’s father has risen from the sea in search of her. At least they don’t until he snatches Ponyo back from Sousuke and leaves the little boy crying as he struggles to swim into the sea to get her back. Thankfully his mother catches him and Sousuke then falls into a little five-year-old depression. He hopes that Ponyo will somehow make it back to him, and she does. After her sisters break her out of prison and dips into a bit of her father’s magic to help turn herself into a human.
People are always going on about how difficult it is raising a little girl. But I bet none of them had to deal with the blowout after their kid rearranges the balance of nature to the point where the moon has moved closer to the earth causing the ocean to swallow all available land along with the people in it. Most parents just worry about puberty but whatever, I’m not knocking it.
The only way to set things right before the world is swallowed up is to either rip Sausuke out of Ponyo’s life forever or turn her into a real girl and not just a fish with some powerful magic. The only way to do that is if Sausuke were to love Ponyo with all his heart no matter whether she happens to be a fish or not. But is he worthy of the Sorcerer and the Sea Goddess’s daughter?
Ponyo was admittedly very cute, but also really cool. There’s one scene where she’s running over these waves that keep forming into giant skyscraper type fish as she follows Sousuke home. Lisa is an awesome character and after witnessing a fish change into a little girl and stalk her son subsequently ending life as she knows it, all she does is make some hot chocolate and put them both to bed. My mom would have been ticked off. I made a fool of myself during the watching of this movie.
So many of the characters are so lovable and real that I couldn’t help myself. When Ponyo is still a fish and she learns how to talk only to say, ‘PONYO! Ponyo love Sausuke!’ I was in the theatres going all ‘OMG I love Sousuke too!’. When Ponyo is beginning to run out of magic and die I was making these weird high pitched animal noises of distress. Then at the end of the movie when Ponyo and Sausuke almost kiss I was bouncing in my seat and clutching my face, squealing in creepy fangirl glee.
I was almost put out but am I sorry for my behavior? No. Am I ashamed? No. Should I be? …Probably.
Voice Actors for Ponyo:
Ponyo was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and released in Japan and the U.S in 2009