Disney has been known for animation for as long as I can remember.
They have not been known for anime. Well the house of mouse is expanding
into Studio Ghibli Film. Ponyo is a magical story about a fish who turns
into a human. Actually she makes it half way there at first, and then
after getting more magic finishes it. Families will be interested to
know there is a goddess in this movie. This movie is a very different
take on the Little Mermaid.
Ponyo has a very soft visual look and feel to it. There is a smoothness to the animation that is very soothing. Even when characters were in danger, I did not feel like anything bad would happen to them. There are a few items to note though. The mother throws one doozy of a tantrum when her husband goes out to sea again (editor: instead of going home to his family). I know this is an eastern based movie, but I wonder if they got the southern woman down pat with that tantrum.
The orchestra style music in Ponyo is stunning. I really enjoyed listening to the music in this movie. Such emotion is imparted during various scenes of the movie. The voice acting is fantastic, and you will notice a few well known names. That is the good side of the coin for Ponyo. The bad side is how magic is used to "evolve" a fish into a human. The goddess portion of this movie also made me squirm.
Family Friendly Gaming received the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of Ponyo. That adds value, as well as some of the bonus features. I really enjoyed the interviews with Hayao Miyazaki. He has such a settled happy spirit about him. I noticed that children enjoyed Ponyo, and asked to watch it again. There is some replay value there. They have since moved on to other movies, but that happens often.
Some of the words on the menu screens were a little small. I had to get a closer look to see what I was selecting. Moving through the screens is simple enough, although there seemed to be a little lag on the Blu-ray disc from time to time. The story is about love, which is strange since one is a fish, and the other is five years old.
Ponyo has a couple of moral and ethical issues in it. The mother leaves her son alone in a house with the little girl during a major ocean storm. She goes to be with the seniors at her job. I can not fathom why she would not bring the kids with her. Adult males are not portrayed in a positive light in this film. In fact adult males are trampled on in Ponyo quite a bit. I found this disheartening personally. Ponyo does contain the love from different sides of the track.
Family Friendly Factor: 50%
Rating: 'G' for General Audiences
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