Sunday, 28 March 2010

Ponyo: DVD Review

Ponyo: DVD Review

Released by Madman Entertainment
Rating: G

Cast: Frankie Jonas, Tina Fey, Noah Cyrus, Liam Neeson, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
From the renowned animation stable of Studio Ghibli - the studio which bought you Howl's Moving Castle, comes Ponyo.
Or to give it its full title - Ponyo on a Cliff By The Sea.
A 5-year-old boy, Sosuke (voiced by Frankie Jonas) adopts a goldfish (the titular Ponyo played by Noah Cyrus)when she emerges from the sea one day having escaped from her father, the king of the ocean (voiced by Liam Neeson.)

However their friendship is torn apart as quickly as it's begun after the seas reclaim her. But Ponyo works a way out to become human and return to her friend - yet, her desire could signal the end of the world.

Studio Ghibli animation is always a delight - and this latest offering from the stable of Hayao Miyazaki is no exception. It first wowed me at the New Zealand International Film Festival and has done it again on the small screen - even if it is the American dubbed one with major actors in the roles. Shame, there's no sign yet of the Japanese version in all its majesty.

It's a truly enchanting tale - quite beautifully animated with traditional drawings as opposed to the computer animation so prevalent in today's cinematic world. Ponyo has a pure heart and joy about her - even when a tsunami threatens to engulf a town, the visual of Ponyo, in her human form, skipping over the waves brings a smile to your face.

A work of pure fantasy and one which shows there's plenty of life left in Studio Ghibli - let's hope Miyazaki has got many more tales in mind.

Rating: 8/10 

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