Andy's Art and Whatever

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ponyo

I just saw Ponyo the other day, finally! I might have some spoilers, but I’m gonna try to not, so read at your own risk.. lol

First, I want to saw that as usual, the animation is top notch. It’s also a little weird too. I mean I know most of his movies are weird, but this one is pretty darn weird if you ask me... Right up there with Spirted Away and Howl’s Moving Castle.

Story-wise I was a little bored with the movie. It’s sweet and cute, but it’s never all that scary or intense. It also takes it’s time going from beginning to end. This is certainly not a movie you want to show a kid with attention deficits disorder. At one point we even heard one of the parents in the back of the theater snoring. Also, nothing really climatic ever happens in the movie. I kept waiting for there to be some tension but there never was.

Miyazaki makes movies for the age group of the main character. Since the main character in this movie is only 5 years old, this movie is just a lot more sweet and innocent I guess. I guess it’s kinda like Totoro in many ways in how innocent and sweet it is, but even still... Totoro had some tension with the girl getting lost. I left the theater feeling just kinda... blah about it. I liked it, but it certainly won’t be making my top 10 Miyazaki films list.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice movie and I did enjoy it. In fact I noticed a lot of interesting little things which I doubt anyone else would. For example, the backgrounds looked almost like colored pencils, and a lot of the “straight” lines were very crooked and wobbly. There also didn’t appear to be any extensive use of computer graphics in this film. And what I mean by that is that all of the ships and the effects looked to be hand drawn. In an American film, those would’ve all been done as 3-D models with a cel-shaded effect. But here, you can see the line width vary and wobble as the ships move slowly by. Things like that remind you of the craft of the film and it gives it a special little charm.

The English dub is alright. It’s nothing spectacular but it’s not horrible either. Some of the voices felt a little weird, and there was a weird mixing of proper Japanese speaking (san, sen, sensei, etc) and American references (“let’s go to LA”). For some reason, dubbing girls in Anime is either hit or miss. I wonder why that’s so hard to do?

Overall... It’s a sweet film, and it’s fun and cute, but it’s not exactly mind blowing. Lol. It’s imaginative in a way that most kids movies aren’t anymore.

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