I don't really agree with the review about the dub track for Ponyo. It seemed fine to me for the most part, but I do agree that Cyrus DID overdo it as Ponyo and the pop song over the second half of the closing credits WAS regrettable. That said, I do think Frankie Jonas did a surprisingly good turn as Sosuke, and Liam Neeson was, of course, great as Fujimoto. Tina Fey was probably my favorite voice from the whole dub. I really liked her character to begin with. On the other hand, Cloris Leachman, who I loved so much from Castle is disappointingly wasted in this film; I would have cast her as the cantankerous and worrisome Toki instead of the woman who barely gets anything to do.

As for the film itself, I'm torn. It starts out REALLY promisingly; I liked the opening scenes in which Sosuke finds, tries to protect, and loses Ponyo all the way up to the tsunami scene -- that scene was awesome. Unfortunately everything kinda went downhill from there. I felt it stopped instead of actually ending, and the final "test" was underwhelming too.

So basically I'm neutral about Ponyo. It's good, but not great. Anyway this review is quite a contrast from Zac's review of the dub. animenewsnetwork.com/review/ponyo-english-dub/. It's rare for ANN to have a review that actually downgrades a Disney dub for a Ghibli movie. I'm surprised this is the first. It's not my favorite of the Ghibli dubs, but I didn't think it was THAT awful.

Another big problem is that the Disney Blu-ray release does not have lossless audio for the Japanese track.

I agree that the dub isn't one of Disney's best--but as the movie isn't one of Ghibli's best, it seemed somehow fitting.

At least, that's my impression from several years ago--I'll have to re-watch it sometime. The animation for the water is sublime, at any rate.

I'll watch it occasionally just for the fluid animation, but yeah, otherwise I was quite underwhelmed by Ponyo's narrative. Maybe I'll put it on in the background on mute.

This is my least favourite Ghibli film to date. At least the animation was great.

Much better! Thanks!

I liked the movie overall, and was entertained even as an adult, but it's definitely not high on my Miyazaki list. I really loved all the undersea stuff though. But mostly it felt like a lot of signature Ghibli tropes checked off in one movie and geared toward a younger audience.

TurnerJ wrote:[quote]

Post-Spirited Miyazaki (Howl and afterwards) had a problem keeping the story together once a magic character like the Sea Wizard was in it--

He'd get so distracted by all the vagaries of magic spells, he'd forget to structure the scene back into an actual plot.

It was SUPPOSED to be Andersen's Little Mermaid, but never gets around to anything remotely Andersen-ish, apart from mentioning "Turning into sea foam" if Ariel doesn't get her preschool prince.

Ponyo is at least cuter than Howl's, in that it seems intentionally aimed for preschoolers, but that makes it less universal as a first Ghibli film than Totoro. That one was for elementary school and upwards, while Ponyo has its characters in daycare.

Woah. A C- after a slew of generally well reviewed stuff!? (Ghibli or otherwise). That's quite surprising. I still haven't seen Ponyo but I didn't have much intention to unless through circumstance because it and Cagliostro are the last two Miyazaki films I need to see, but I don't wish to own Ponyo seeing how I have high doubts about this film, and this rectifies it to a degree, but that score still seems a little brutal haha.

I do not agree with this review at all. This is the only "negative" reviews that I have heard about this movie. Heck it has a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. You might not like it as much as other movies and you are entitled to you opinion but to say its a "bad" movie if you are an "adult." I wonder what the review for Howl's Moving Castle is going to be because that one is another Miyazaki film that is not as well received as others.

Heh, I'll just say my story about Ponyo again: Laughing

Saw Ponyo in a 3/4 full theater at Times Square. We didn't fully understand the resolution neither. But what's notable about that experience was that there were many moms there with their young kids. Many of them didn't even know it's anime or even heard about it. Apparently, they only found out about it thru Disney's magazines and TV ads. So at least that's a well-targeted marketing.
They did advertise Ponyo, even on TV (if you watch TV - a lot of anime fans don't much), particularly children timeslots since that's its target audience (older folks who know about it are obviously already anime watchers). Many parents in the theaters also heard about it from Disney's e-mailing lists and promos for families (they had not known anything about the movie beforehand).

Agree pretty much (except for me liking the mother in "Wolf Children"). In Ponyo, I really liked the post-flood scenes in the little boat, and the underwater scenes with all the sea life (I've always loved prehistoric creatures and weird things that live in the sea, so those scenes were great for me). These scenes are full of beautiful and whimsical images, but in the end the story just petered out and went nowhere. For me too, the bit where the mother drives through deep, fast-moving water made me cringe more than laugh. Too many people have died doing that kind of thing.

> maternal ideal

See, I thought the whole point of the character was that she wasn't an "ideal", but kinda human and flawed. First child, husband away a lot. Pretty young, too, I think: twenty-five or so? Not easy, and I thought the film showed that pretty well, with the driving [and the cooking, and other stuff I'd need to rewatch the film to refresh my memory on] all working towards that.

[which was actually my favourite bit of the film.]

Really wish people would learn that just because something seems alien to their personal history and understanding, it does not actually mean that thing demonstrates a lack of understanding in general.

Ponyo was... decent. I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it either. It's definitely at the bottom of my Ghibli movies list.

Story doesn't matter nearly as much as to how the story is told when it comes to keeping me captivated. And in the end, what matters most in any movie is if it makes me feel. Doesn't matter if it's happiness, sadness, rage, or paranoia, the stronger the feels, the less I realize its faults. I hella enjoyed Ponyo. I can watch it again and again. I felt the reviewer was bashing it on such trivial stuff. I try not to read reviews of stuff I have yet to watch because negative reviews like these may make me inclined to skip something I would've liked.