Sunday, 1 November 2009
Yes at last here is my post about this much anticipated Studio Ghilbi movie Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea.
Unfortunately for those of us living in the UK Optimum Asia the UK distributor, isn't showing the theatrical release until February 12 2010 so the DVD/Blue Ray won't be out before then at least.
Of course as we're in 2009 not 1989 this doesn't mean we can't get to see it as having been shown in the Spring in Japan followed by Summer for North America - with Disney 'English' dub - the DVD and Blue Rays are out in East Asia already.
CD Japan and HMV Japan stocks the DVD (R2 NTSC) which will play native in European Players as it's the same region and most modern tv's handle PAL as well as NTSC while for North America it's not that hard to 'hack' your DVD player to play all regions! It took a minute to do mine!
From Hong Kong you can get the R3 DVD in NTSC and I got to see it.
Buying Asian means we lose the English dub but unless you've very young children it's really no loss and frankly I prefer to hear the original Japanese cast dialog with their intonations intact.
Pictured above is the two dvd edition issued June 7th 2010 in the UK which I own.
Let me start by saying it's very much a children's story with a good heart about acceptance of people for who and what they are are.
The animation is well up to Hayao Mayazaki's excellent standards being well drawn not being upon effects adding to the spoken narration.
I'd give this 9 out 10 as really enjoyed it.
The plot centres on a fish-girl who lives in an aquarium in her father's underwater castle with numerous smaller sisters. When her father takes her and her siblings on an outing in his four-flippered submarine, she is driven by a desire to see even more of the world and swims away. She ends up stranded on the shore of a small fishing town, and is rescued by a boy named Sosuke. After taking a great liking to her, Sosuke names her Ponyo and promises to protect her forever.
Meanwhile, her father, Fujimoto, is looking for his daughter, upset that she ran away and believes the humans kidnapped her. He calls his wave spirits to return Ponyo to him. Sosuke is heartbroken by this, and goes home with his mother, Lisa (or "Risa" in some translations), who tries to cheer him up, but to no avail. Ponyo and her father have a confrontation, where Ponyo refuses to let her father call her "Brunhilda". She declares her name to be Ponyo, and voices her desire to become human because she has started to fall in love with Sosuke. Her father silences her with difficulty and goes to summon Ponyo's mother.
Meanwhile, Ponyo, with the help of her sisters, breaks away from her father, and uses his magic to make herself human. This causes an imbalance in the world, which in turn results in a huge storm. Riding on the waves of the storm, Ponyo goes back to visit Sosuke. Lisa, Sosuke, and Ponyo stay the night at Sosuke's house, hoping the storm will be over, whereupon Lisa leaves the house to check up on the residents of the nursing home where she works.
Granmamare, Ponyo's mother, arrives at Fujimoto's submarine. Fujimoto notices the moon has come out of its orbit and the satellites are falling like shooting stars. Granmamare declares that if Sosuke can pass a test, Ponyo can live as a human and the world order will be restored. If he fails, Ponyo will turn into sea foam.
Sosuke and Ponyo wake up to find that most of the land around where the house has been covered by the ocean.
Lisa has not retured home yet, so with the help of Ponyo's magic, they make Sosuke's toy boat life-size and set out to find Lisa. While travelling they see ancient extinct fish swimming, such as the Gogonasus and Licosus. After landing and finding Lisa's empty car, Ponyo and Sosuke go through a tunnel. There Ponyo loses her human form and resumes the form of a fish. Sosuke and Ponyo are taken by Fujimoto into the ocean and down to the protected nursing home where they're reunited with Lisa and meet Granmamare, both of whom had just had a long private conversation.
Granmamare asks Sosuke if he can love Ponyo even if she is a fish or human. Sosuke replies that he "loves all the Ponyos".
Granmamare then allows Ponyo to become human once Ponyo kisses Sosuke on the surface. The film ends with Ponyo jumping up and kissing Sosuke, turning while still in the air into a little girl.
Aww. That was cute!
The UK DVD comes out July 8th 2010 and I hope to get a copy.