Ponyo

2008 | 100 minutes | Rated G

You can pretty much guarantee that anything with Hayao Miyazaki’s name attached to it will be superbly wrought, fantastically animated, and delivered with a fine dose of poignant storytelling. He has left a fine legacy of films in his (no longer retired, for now) wake, including Ponyo, which has its 10-year anniversary this year and is being celebrated in a series of screening events across the country. This anime fantasy is loosely based on The Little Mermaid (Hans Christian Andersen’s version, not Disney’s), about an austere, potentially malevolent warlock/sea king whose young amphibious daughter runs (swims) away from her home. Sosuke, the little boy who scoops her from the waves, believes she’s a goldfish, names her Ponyo, and introduces her to a small slice of his world before her father finds her and brings her back to their underwater kingdom. But Ponyo’s taste of food and friendship fuels her next escape, setting off a chain of events that will change her (and Sosuke) forever. This film gets me choked up every time.

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Film Credits
Director
Hayao Miyazaki, John Lasseter, Brad Lewis, Peter Sohn
Cast
Cate Blanchett, Noah Cyrus, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Frankie Jonas, Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin, Betty White