Thursday, August 13, 2009

Another Miyazaki Masterpiece


When Disney decided to distribute Hayao Miazaki's film Spirited Away, there was a clear indication that this would be a risk. The traditional Disney animation would not be present, nor would the very typical storyline or selling points. So, what happened? Disney ended up making a lot of money off of Spirited Away and the rest is history. Disney has depended not only on the success of Pixar's amazing work, but also on that of Studio Ghibli, Miyazaki's studio.

Now, this year Disney brings Miyazaki's latest masterwork Ponyo. This film is proof positive of two things: one, you do not need CGI or 3-D animation to impress someone, just a great story. Two, this film is indicative at how bad other family animated films have become.

For all that the Disney and ABC family networks offer, their programming cannot offer as many essential life lessons and grip our hearts quite the way Miyazaki can. With Ponyo, he brings us the finest family film in years. The story is quite simple, a girl-fish wants to be a human and be with a human boy that she loves.

The film is patient and really draws us in with great visuals and beautiful moments that are simple and timeless. The interaction between the characters are ideal and serve perhaps as a way for families to communicate better. There are some interesting moments, especially the way the mother drives a car!

This is the best animated film of the year hands down (besides Up, which features an Asian-American lead). I don't need raining meatballs, aliens in an attic, or some gerbels with guns to give me a good animated time. Just give me a simple, beautiful story about love, innocence, and its true power, and I am happy. Go see Ponyo as soon as you can!

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