Starring the vocal talents of:
Noah Lindsey Cyrus, Frankie Jonas, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Betty White, Lily Tomlin and Liam Neeson
Out to buy on Blu-Ray/DVD 07/06/10
"Ponyo, Ponyo, Ponyo"
As five year-old Sosuke waits for his father to return, he looks out at the ocean hoping to see his father’s boat on the horizon. Exploring near the shore, he finds a young, beautiful goldfish trapped in a bottle on the beach. He takes her home and calls her Ponyo (Cyrus). Little does he know that Ponyo is in fact the daughter of a powerful wizard of the sea and will use all of his power to get Ponyo back.
When it comes to traditional, hand drawn animation, one studio above all others is respected and beloved more than any other, Studio Ghibli and their latest, Ponyo, is a joy.
Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most respected and revered animated working in the industry today but up until 2001 western audiences had not really heard of him. A legend within the animation world, Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli has become the standard for the traditional, hand drawn animation style that Hollywood has been so quick to throw away because of the popularity of computer generated animation. It was the man who pioneered that technology, Pixar’s John Lassiter that brought Miyazaki’s studio’s work to western audiences with ‘Spirited Away’ winning the best animated film Oscar in 2001.
From then on Western fans have received lovingly dubbed, English language version of Miyazaki’s stunning work with films like ‘Princess Mononoke’ and ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’, with Hollywood A-List stars providing the voices for his lovingly designed characters. The same can be said for ‘Ponyo’, the latest from Studio Ghibli and the magical mind of the Japanese master and the cream of Hollywood has returned to bring the story of this loveable princess from the sea to life.
The story of a young boy waiting for his father to return from sea offers the filmmakers and the character actor a chance to inject some real magic into what could be seen as a simple tale. Here we have two worlds, the human one land and the magical one under the sea and the story of how two children find each other and quickly become firm friends. While the adults question their friendship and the wizard Fujimoto raises the oceans to bring Ponyo back, the audience is caught up in a tale of friendship, love and understanding that is seldom seen in Western animation. With Hollywood stars like Liam Neeson, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Betty White, Lily Tomlin and youngsters Noah Lindsey Cyrus and Frankie Jonas as Ponyo and Sosuke coming together for the English language version, this is a joy.
It is the traditional, hand drawn animation style that draws you into the story. Where most of the major American animation studios dropping this technique for the more box office profitable computer generated style, Studio Ghibli still keeps pushing the boundaries of this art form. The character development and the creation of the undersea world is mesmerising, pulling you into Ponyo’s world but also bringing the Japanese setting to life in a believable and vibrant way. Again, Studio Ghibli shows that you don’t need a computer to create worlds and make things magical.
‘Ponyo’ is a joy. When it comes to making movies for a younger audience, there are few better family movies than this and with its wonderful story, beautiful animation and characters that the whole family will love, this is a must see for anyone who loves animation and adores magical fairytales.
- The Five Genuises Who Created Ponyo – interviews
- Japanese trailers and TV spots
- Intro by Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall (3:19)
- A Conversation with Hayao Miyazaki and John Lasseter (3:30)
- Behind the Microphone: the Voices of Ponyo (6:01)
- Creating Ponyo (3:55)
- Ponyo and Fujimoto(2:56)
- The Nursery (1:57)
- Scoring Miyazaki (7:17)
- The Producer’s Perspective: Telling the Story (2:25)
- The Locations in Ponyo (9:39)
- Hayao Miyazaki interview (14.00)
- Toshio Suzuki interview (29:00)
- Dubbing Session and interview with Japanese cast 25:00)
- Music Video of the theme song (3:30)
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