The Order of Ghiblis #11 - Ponyo
Join us as we watch and rank every Studio Ghibli movie!
"A friendship between a five-year-old boy and a goldfish princess who yearns to be human. The daughter of the king of the ocean, Ponyo is no ordinary goldfish -- she has all the magic of the sea at her disposal."
Another more Child focussed of Miyazaki's movies, Ponyo is mostly a very light hearted tale of 2 kids, one human, one weird fish lady, as they try to be together against the king of the seas wishes. The 2 kids, Sosuke and Ponyo, and really charming characters, Sosuke in particular who is the man of the house when his father is out at sea, and helps out with his mum in the nursing home next to his school.
Ponyo the fish/child is an interesting character, changing throughout the movie as the scenes and the seas change as well. It's an interesting connection between what we see and how she acts. Visually, all the water affects definitely look amazing, which is good as there is so much of it in the movie. The characters are all interesting and the relationships between them make them worth watching.
I do have to point out that in the English dub they appear to have gone with big names instead of actual voice actors, and for Tina Fey as Sosuke's mum this does work, but for Liam Neeson as Ponyo's father it does not. I can't remember such a bad performance as that in another movie.
Ponyo is a good, fun time movie, with good ups and downs, cool animation, a really catchy theme song, and just makes for a fantastic family watch. It fits into that same category as Totoro and Kiki's in that regard, but perhaps with slightly less charm than either of those, and with some trailing off toward the end.
Either way, it instantly hops Nausicaa as we would actually want to watch it again, and same for the Yamadas. It keeps climbing up due to it's interesting characters and general good time vibes, and for that latter reason just hops above Grave's depressing watch. Here is where it stays though, Ponyo is adorable but she's no Calcifer, and so it settles just underneath Howls.
NEW FULL ORDER
1. My Neighbour Totoro
2. Kiki's Delivery Service
3. Laputa Castle in the Sky
4. Whisper of the Heart
5. Howl's Moving Castle
6. [NEW] Ponyo
7. Grave of the Fireflies
8. Cat Returns
10. My Neighbours the Yamadas
11. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind