Dir: Hayao Miyazaki
September 1, 2009
I think that I might have had a different overall experience of watching this film if I had waited to view a subtitled version rather than a dubbed one. The voices were almost too much. I think I might wait for a more in depth reaction until then, but I'll throw a few nuggets out there:
Gorgeous, like all his films. You can't help but smile during the animation magic of some of his scenes. Ponyo starts fine (a great opening and credits), and then turns bat-shit insane; the second half is nonsensical. A ticking clock, potions, and a tests of love are introduced late in the film in order to drum up a modicum of tension. The best parts of the film are typical Miyazaki moments (what the critics love to rave about as his "quiet moments", but in the end it's just very Japanese), when kids are allowed to be kids, play with toys, eat ham, ect. The whole film should have just been a string of those. There are plenty of laughs intentional and otherwise. Not really close to his two best films, which are Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984) and Porco Rosso (1992).
Ponyo isn't great, but I'm sure in the future it will be worth staring at from time to time, much like a large aquarium full of colorful fish.