as part of Studio Ghibli Fest 2023
Part of Summer of Ghibli at the Rose Theatre, PONYO (2008) is a visually stunning fairy tale that's a sweetly poetic treat for children of all ages. During a forbidden excursion to see the surface world, a goldfish princess encounters a boy named Sosuke, who gives her the name Ponyo. Ponyo longs to become human, and as her friendship with Sosuke grows, she becomes more humanlike. Ponyo's father brings her back to their ocean kingdom, but so strong is Ponyo's wish to live on the surface that she breaks free, and in the process, spills a collection of magical elixirs that endanger Sosuke's village.
As to be expected with Miyazaki, PONYO is awash in pure unbridled imagination and visual wonder — but it is the tender love, humor, and devotion exhibited by Ponyo and Sosuke that form the emotional heart of the film.
G, 1h 40m.
"Absurdly delightful, a prestidigitation of line and colour." – Financial Times
"We're drawn under the waves of the sea to a hidden enclave of neon-hued aqualife more vibrant, surreal and enchanting than any of the floating 3D whatsits in AVATAR." – Time Out
"Miyazaki effortlessly combines the marvellous and the mundane in his cinema. Visually, PONYO is an imaginative, exhilarating work, but its vigour and energy are achieved with surprising simplicity." – The Age (Australia)
"Miyazaki's films are dream waltzes, all liquid motion and mysterious turbulences." – Daily Telegraph (UK)
"Five minutes into this magical film you'll be making lists of the individuals of every age you can expose to the very special mixture of fantasy and folklore, adventure and affection, that make up the enchanted vision of Miyazaki." – Los Angeles Times