Title: Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea
Genre: fantasy, adventure
Released date: July 19, 2008
Running Time: 101 minutes
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Animated by: Studio Ghibli
Comment: To me, Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea is another proof that Hayao Miyazaki, the director, is a magician in the world of anime. I belief most people, especially who live in Asia could recall the Tsunami tragedy that killed many hundred thousands people in South East Asia in 2004. If there were anyone who can retell the story of such disaster in a heart warming and dreamy way, Miyazaki would probably be the only name that came up in my mind.
The main idea of the anime is, like other Ghibli movies, about self-discovery and environmentalism. The story is told through the perspective of a young boy, Sosuke, and his goldfish, Ponyo, which happens to be a runaway goldfish princess. They are very fond of each other but Ponyo’s escape brings many magical things from the sea including the wizard, the goddess and the great waves that flood the whole town. The anime shows the worst situation imaginable in an extremely positive way. The town which is now underwater is like an aquatic heaven; beautiful and exotic fishes and marine life swim along the road, the water is crystal clear, the houses aren’t damaged by the giant waves and the people don’t look troubled despite the fact that they are trapped in boats (or in a magically conjured submarine dome). It may sound absurd but it actually works. The anime draws out the child hidden inside me and the world is full of fun and wonder and there is magic in every rocks and stones.
The animation of Ponyo is also unique because the entire movie is hand drawn and no CGI is applied. I was mesmerized by the details of this animation; every little movement and behavior of the children were paid attention to, making them very realistic and lovely. The background is fluid and beautiful. The music by Joe Hisaishi is fantastic. Conclusion: Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea is the anime made with great love and effort. It makes me think and it makes me dream. I absolutely love it.