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Ponyo 崖の上のポニョ is a 2008 animated fantasy film from world re-known Studio Ghibli. The movie follows a goldfish by the name of Ponyo, who befriends a human boy named Sousuke. After being retrieved by her father, Fujimoto, Ponyo breaks loose using her magic and unknowingly causes a Tsunami in her pursuit of being reunited with Sousuke, and their adventure begins.

Ponyo is not my cup of tea. It was a bit too kiddie for my liking, but I enjoyed it. So I tried to walk into this revisiting trip with an open mind. Surprising, I enjoyed it way more than the first time. I think it had a lot of with the fact that I have a better understanding of animation and storytelling. And also, because Sousuke and Ponyo remind me of my niece and nephew, having something to tie things into definitely helps.


Miyazaki has stated that The Little Mermaid was an inspiration, and I’m not sure why I hadn’t noticed before, but there are moments where it’s clear as day. Illustration wise but even though there are similarities, this film is still all Ghibli. Their attention to detail is immaculate. The was a scene where the toy boat that the kids were using started to reverting back to its standard size. Everything inside, including Sousuke’s sailor hat, minimizes with it.


I love how well they managed to capture the youth of young kids so well. My favorite scene was when Sousuke had a conversation with his Dad using the signal lights. It was a cute family affair. Their film is full of cute scenes, but another scene that really stood out to me was when Gran Mamare, a.k.a, the Goddess of Mercy, comes into town. The use of colors blew me away. It’s Ghibli, the animation is always high quality, but it never ceases to amaze me.

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Can we talk about Lisa’s Sousuke mother’s questionable parenting skills? She took her five-year-old son back home during storm evacuations instead of seeking shelter elsewhere. She drives her whip into surging stormwater because she needed to get back to her house. I thought it was to retrieve something important, but it wasn’t.

She feeds them and leaves them there in the middle of chaos. What the fuck me up most about the whole thing was that she looked her son dead in the face and told him, I know you’re only five years old, but you’re a smart boy, and I need to here to be the light of the island for the people lost at sea. I need you to stay here. I don’t care how smart you’re five years old is, you don’t leave them alone on storm ravished island. Yes, she got me fucked up.

Ponyo is full of outrageous moments. Not my favorite film but still worth checking out on animation alone. It really is visually brilliant. This movie is fun.

What did you think about Ponyo?

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