Friday, September 18, 2009

I finally watched Ponyo....

For those of you who aren't really into animated films, Ponyo is a animated movie by Hayao Miyazaki the man who pretty much is Studio Ghibli....think like Japan's own living version of Walt Disney....

Anyway, going into this movie I was told by one of my friends that it's "pretty much Miyazaki's take on The Little Mermaid."  Alrighty then...doesn't sound too hard to understand, right?  Mermaid meets Prince, they fall in love, yada yada yada.....

Not really.

This plot involves some weird, mad scientist guy who lives under water in some magical bubbley type thing who HATES humans, and keeps his fish daughters in a bubble tank in his ship. Yes, his daughters pretty much resemble fish with faces. I'm not making this up, by the way....

One of his daughters wanders away, and makes it to the human populated world and thru a series of random events meets a little boy, who takes her in and names her "Ponyo."  It's important to note at one point, Ponyo gets a taste of his blood....yep, she drinks his blood. 

Not going there with this one....it was odd and made me a tiny bit nervous.....

Anyway, eventually Ponyo's dad comes looking for his daughter, and brings his rather creepy water minions along to help him find her. Ponyo, still a fish type creature manages to get washed back out to sea, and her dad takes her home.  The little boy is very sad and depressed about this, but Ponyo is at this point, one fish in an entire ocean.  not much he can do...

oh, but Ponyo isn't having any of this....

She wants to go back and find him and decides it's time to evolve. Once her dad leaves she breaks out again and goes and gets all hyped up on what is essence magical energy and goes to the surface. What she doesn't realize is that by doing this, basically becoming the Dark Phoenix herself in mermaid mode it's throwing off the balance of the ocean. Ships are being tossed around in huge waves, tidal waves like hundreds of feet high are seen, huge fish start appearing...sorta like a all around "end of the world" scenario by water instead of a zombie take over or a giant rock falling from the sky. 

Ponyo doesn't really realize all of this and simply rides the waves to land to find her boy. His name is Sosuke by the way. There is this really cool sequence of her literally running over the waves. Really cool animation done right there.  She ends up finding him and using magic she turns herself into a little girl. She ends up spending the night with Sosuke and his mom, enjoying being human. She likes human food and is very amused by a lot of the things on land. Then she goes to sleep.

Ponyo's dad shows up, and sees she's turned herself into a human. Worried, he asks Ponyo's mom for help. As it turns out, Ponyo's mom is a sea goddess and very powerful as well as very kind and loving. She asks Ponyo's dad why not let Ponyo be a human? she's happier that way. So they decide to test her and Sosuke and see if it's worth it....

Well...I won't explain the ending....it's worth watching it in theaters...

Now...let me give you some side notes on this movie....

for the first ten minutes I was pretty sure I had dropped acid and was now watching a fish tank. Not kidding. The animation is just...weird as all hell and very colorful. The plot half the time makes me want to scream at the parents in this film being so utterly brain dead. At one point Sosuke's mom leaves her son and some weird, clearly magical girl ALONE in the house while the world is coming to a end to go help some people at the senior center several miles away. THE KIDS ARE ONLY FIVE YEARS OLD!!!!!

I MEAN HOLY SHIT! SERIOUSLY?!?!

ugh. 

But beyond that, it was a enjoyable movie, very cute and entertaining.

I think if you want to watch it you just have to let your mind go as soon as you start watching. If any of you watched Spirited Away, another of Miyazaki's films you started off in a normal area, a car trip and moving day for a young girl and her family. This one you're dropped straight into Ponyo's world and it took me a few minutes to adjust. 

overall, on a scale of one to ten, with one being a: "omg, why was this movie even made?!" to ten being a: "THIS HAD BETTER WIN A OSCAR!" this was about a eight.....

it was really cute, once you realized this was a film purely for children......and it was just going to be weird. You just had to accept the weirdness. I recommend it if you wanna watch something relaxing, somewhat funny and sweet. 

it's about a hour and forty five minutes long too, so no real risk of getting a sore butt from it either. Have fun!

laters. 

3 comments:

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Miyazaki does that a lot, though, with the parents and the kids. I was discussing this with the wife the other night, and it seems that one of the rules for children's stories is that the parents have to be elsewhere. Either dead or completely clueless or divorced and working several jobs.

Kiki's Delivery Service is another wonderful movie, but it just seems odd that Kiki's parents turn her out and make her find her way in the world.

The mother in the Cat Returns also doesn't seem to care what happened to her daughter. Kidnapped by cats? Oh, who cares? What's for dinner?

Still, I love Miyazaki movies. I can't decide on a favorite between Howl's Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke.

Gauche said...

Mjenks,

See, I'm a huge Spirited Away fan and I really do love Kiki's Delivery Service. I loved this movie, but man, this mom seemed to be three sails to the wind for some parts of it. I still really really liked it, however. Have you seen it yet? it's very entertaining and well animated.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I haven't seen it yet. We planned on it at one point, but never could because my wife insisted that she HAD to come with us. I doubt it's in theatres anymore around here.