Cinefamily’s doing a Studio Ghibli retrospective next month. It’s pretty much the only major studio animation worth watching. Here’s my blurb for the incredible Ponyo, but the entire series is worth watching.
One of cinema’s most visually striking evocations of the ocean’s ineffable, mercurial magic, Hiyao Miyazaki’s final feature film is a boy-meets-goldfish tale whose charm is as vast as the sea itself. Gently exploring friendship and familial love, the story is as timeless as the Hans Christian Andersen “Little Mermaid” fable that inspired Miyazaki’s script, yet Ponyo also deftly dives through contemporary themes — particularly humanity’s strained relationship with nature. Both a triumphant return to tradition and an experimental leap forward, Miyazaki abandoned all computer animation for Ponyo’s dramatic coastal landscapes and typically-bizarre characters, relying on hand-drawn lines and watercolored textures that are unmatched in their warmth, fluidity, and inventiveness. The director even reportedly drew much of the film’s many waves himself to ensure their texture and movement was just right. Whether you’re an animation connoisseur or a casual cartoon watcher, that kind of big-heartedness shines through in every frame. Our screening of Ponyo is presented with an English-dubbed audio track.