Rated G for some thematic elements (appropriate for all ages)
Run time: 104 minutes Directed by: Elizabeth AllenWritten by: Laurie Craig, Nick Pustav Starring: Joey King, Selena Gomez, John Corbett, Bridget Moynahan, Josh Duhamel, Sandra Oh Continue reading
Ponyo(Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea) (G) 100 min. Directed and Written by: Hayao Miyazaki. Featuring the voice-work of: (English version) Ponyo: Noah Lindsey Cyrus, Sosuke: Frankie Jonas, Koichi: Matt Damon, Lisa: Tina Fey, Gran Mamere: Cate Blanchette, Fujimoto: Liam Neeson. With Betty White, Cloris Leachman and Lily Tomlin. Art Direction: Noboru Yoshida. Cinematography: Atsushi Okoi. Chief Animator: Katsuya Kondô. Original music by: Joe Hisaishi.
Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo is a welcome breath of fresh air for the world of animated film. For starters, the Japanese master’s latest is a delightful throwback to a not-so-distant time; the era of hand-drawn 2-dimensional, cell-animated films. While it’s true that cell animation is still a viable means of expression internationally, American theaters have not seen such product in quite awhile. Thankfully, Walt Disney, prompted byPixar head John Lasseter, is attempting to reverse that. Tomorrow, Ponyo will be given a wide-release in theaters (the largest a Miyazaki film has had here in the West) and in November, the mouse-house will release The Princess and the Frog, its first traditionally animated film(I’m not counting the opening of Enchanted or all of those DTV cheapies) since 2002’s pathetic Home on the Range.
Ponyo offers all audiences, both the newcomer and the Miyazaki faithful, something both artistically beautiful and conceptually original. Created in a simple, elegant style with water-color pastels, this fantasy is driven by its vibrant, otherworldly visuals and by its creator’s keen sense of child-like wonder and knack for off-kilter, human details. Skewing to a younger audience than some of Miyazaki’s other animated ventures, like Princess Mononoke or Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo is an honest-to-goodness family film; it isn’t just appropriate for all ages, it has the potential to entertain all ages. Continue reading