Ponyo is an animated film both written and directed by acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. The film was released in Japan in 2008 and North America in 2009.
The story is Hayao Miyazaki's version of The Little Mermaid. It's about a little boy named Sosuke, who becomes friends with Ponyo, a little goldfish-type creature from the sea. Ponyo is the princess of an underwater kingdom and she uses her father's magic to turn herself into a little girl so she can spend time with Sosuke. Unfortunately, we soon find out that the consequences of her doing this are disastrous.
It's pretty easy to see some of the similarities to The Little Mermaid, but this is definitely not a direct adaptation in any way. There is no real villain here. Instead, the film focuses on the importance of family, as well as cause and effect. It's a good lesson in how if we act without thinking, our actions can have enormous repercussions for those around us, and this is a good thing to learn at a young age.
The animation is 100% hand drawn in Ponyo, which makes for an utterly breathtaking film. It's definitely aimed at a younger audience, as opposed to some of Miyazaki-san's other films, but it's still worth seeing if you're a fan, and it is certainly enjoyable.
This is rated G with a running time of 101 minutes.
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