Ponyo DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 9.0
Video 10.0
Audio 9.0
Special Features 9.0
Total 9.0
Distributor: Madman
Classification: PG
Minutes: 102 minutes
Reviewer: Simon Black

9.0


Ponyo

Ponyo (voiced by Miley Cyrusís younger sister Noah) is a spirited fish-girl who lives in an aquarium in the underwater castle of her father (Liam Neeson), a magical guardian of the sea.  Unlike her many hundreds of sisters, however, Ponyo desires to see the world of men.  One day she escapes her fatherís clutches and forms a strong friendship with young Sosuke (Frankie Jonas).  Though her father eventually gets her back, by now nothing will do for Ponyo but to become human.  Using all her magic she creates a huge storm and rides the massive waves back to land, much to the surprise of Sosuke and his mother (Tina Fey).  The Goddess of Mercy (Cate Blanchett) gets wind of the plan, and declares that is Sosuke can pass a test Ponyo will be allowed to become human.  If he fails, Ponyo will turn into sea foam. 

Taking its inspiration from Andersonís The Little Mermaid, Ponyo is another triumph for director Hayao Miyazaki (Howlís Moving Castle, Spirited Away) and further establishes Japanese outfit Studio Ghibli as the only serious challenger for Pixarís title as the greatest animation studio in the world.  The animation is simply stunning, featuring a beautifully layered combination of computer generated and traditional techniques, and many of the filmís 170,000 frames were hand-drawn by Miyazaki himself.  The voicework from the Japanese cast is as flawless as ever and the star-studded ensemble on the English dub also do a fine job, particularly Noah Cyrus and Frankie Jonas, who in spite of their tender ages carry the film admirably with their spirited, impressively nuanced interplay. 

The Blu-ray release of this stunning film is laden with several hoursí worth of superlative extras.  Principal among these are a two lively and humorous interviews with Miyazaki in which he discusses the film and its inspirations; a behind-the-scenes look at the recording sessions for both the English and Japanese dubs; and numerous featurettes on all elements of the creative process.  Once again the genius of the Japanese director is evident, and thereís plenty here to entertain fans of all ages.  Itís the perfect treatment for this enchanting and visually perfect feature, and another near-peerless entry into the eminently impressive Miyazaki canon. 

Special Features

Storyboards

Meet Ponyo

A Conversation with Hayao John Lasseter

Behind the Microphone: The Voices of Ponyo

Creating Ponyo

Ponyo and Fujimoto

The Nursery

Scoring Miyazaki

The Producerís Perspective: Telling the Story

The Locations in Ponyo

The Five Geniuses Who Created Ponyo

Hayao Miyazaki Interview

Toshio Suzuki Interview

Dubbing Sessions and Interview with the Japanese Cast

Theme Song Music Video

Japanese Trailers and TV Spots






 
 



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