I’ve recently really been interested in sci-fi and action (or a combination of both) like the Matrix, so I kind of put off watching the animations that I said I would. So when we rented Ponyo from Blockbuster, I was kind of ambivalent.
Ten minutes into the movie, I wondered why I had not watched this movie when it first came out.
It was amazingly family-oriented and fantastic. The goldfish were adorable and the characters easy to relate to. There’s Sosuke, the little boy who has to act the man of the house because his father is always away at sea; there’s Lisa, Sosuke’s mom who misses her husband; there’s Ponyo, who wants to escape the confinements of her father and her ocean life; and there’s Fujimoto, who wants to protect his daughter Ponyo from the outside world. This movie, a Studio Ghibli film, is based on the Little Mermaid and is essentially the same concept…minus a few years on the main characters’ parts. Ponyo and Sosuke are both around five years old. I think this fact adds a playful concept to the movie as a whole, making it even more adorable to watch.
I would have to say my favorite part of the whole movie was the green bucket. When Ponyo is taken back to sea by her father, Sosuke takes the bucket that he had originally used to hold the goldfish and puts it on his fence post, just in case she needs to find her way back to him. Ponyo’s innocence on the different aspects of human life is also quite entertaining to watch.
I want to make one more comment on the characters. Besides the fact that they are easy to relate to, I also think Miyazaki did an excellent job of adding dimension. Even though the movie was meant to be carefree and fun, their personalities and characters are complex. Sosuke is the true epitome of a “little man,” and you can tell he really loves his parents and even the elderly residents at the senior home that his mother works at. Ponyo’s father, Fujimoto, is originally portrayed as a restrictive father, almost the antagonist of the movie, but in the end you have to feel understanding of his position.
Do watch. You won’t regret it.