Sunday, 29 November 2009

Ponyo, Ponyo, Ponyo, tiny little fish...

Today, a coursemate and I saw Hayao Miyazaki's 'Ponyo on the Cliff' at the Barbican. Anyone who is bored of the predictable discourse of Western narrative has to see this animation.
What I like best about Miyazaki's films is the refreshingly original worlds he creates. The featured creatures and their systems of existence are what makes Studio Ghibli stand out.
However, it's also what makes the films so unsettling and hence difficult to embrace. I'm sure that the young children filling the cinema were quite as disturbed as I was when I first watched Disney's 'Alice in Wonderland'!
The bizarre, combined with the simplicity of the script and plot, causes a dilemma as to what kind of target audience are best suited to Studio Ghibli's productions. This may account for how little financial success their films have had in the western world. However, Disney are determined to promote this new film in the US and so much the better if they succeed. Animations such as this have the power to expand young and old minds alike.
My favourite scene in the film was when Ponyo has released the elixir and is sprinting along the crashing waves. You can really sense the power behind the sea and I was completely transfixed!


  1. kool- nice review. Can't wait for nationwide release

  2. Spiritied Away got an Oscar so the West does respond, but not enough. Studio Ghibli's plots can be awkward, but the inventiveness of the animation is dazzling. 'Whisper of the Heart' is a really sweet, less bizarre production. Check it out. x