Sunday, May 16, 2010
PONYO: Hayao Miyazaki, king of animation, is back with a must-watch for kids (grown-ups, too)
Spirited Away? Howl's Moving Castle? Princess Mononoke? My Neighbor Totoro? If not, no matter, for the man who gifted us with all of them is back with his new one: PONYO -- which may be the most enchanting of them all. Hayao Miyazaki (below) -- who, along with Satoshi Kon (Paprika) is the co-king of animation worldwide (that's TrustMovies' opinion, anyhow) -- does things the old way, via color and line, tale and theme. Yet he keeps renewing himself and growing with each project.
Walt Disney company, who picked it up for U.S. distribution, has added what seems to me to be an excellent English-dubbed track using the voices of fine actors from Cate Blanchett to Matt Damon, Tina Fey to Liam Neeson. The result is lovely. Kids should revel in it, while adults may find it difficult to tear themselves away from the screen, so beautiful, strange and moving are many of its images.
iliarity (I suspect that, given their culture and history, Japanese kids and their parents cotton to it immediately). This particular universe is undersea, where some sort of wizard (spoken in splendid voice by Neeson) is up to no good. His "daughters," all of them tiny fish are led by the largest of this small set, who will come to be known by the little boy (above) who "catches" her, as Ponyo.
Cloris Leachman and Betty White); a flood that seem to put much of the landscape underwater (giving Miyazaki and his animators the opportunity to dazzle us with sights that combine two usually quite separate locales, shown further below, at right); and a gorgeous and benign enchantress (shown at bottom).
Noah Cyrus, is enough to break your heart.