Da Couch Tomato

An attempt at a new layout, with horrible glitches, and very minimal knowledge of HTML.

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea

By Mary Quite Contrary
Thu, 15 Jul 2010, 14:24.

... aka Gake no ue no Ponyo - Japan (original title)
... aka Ponyo on The Cliff By The Sea - Australia, International (English title)
... aka Ponyo on The Cliff - International (English title and informal literal title)

Once upon a time, a fish wanted to see the world above the sea. She was still young and had to escape inside a jellyfish when her father wasn’t looking. In the shallow waters, she got trapped inside a jar while managing to escape the junk boat’s net (used to sweep the trash underwater). Fortunately, a little boy found her. He hit the jar with a stone to free the fish. When he cut himself on broken glass, the fish licked his wound and it healed instantly. The little boy then knew, that the fish was special. He placed her inside a bucket and promised to protect her no matter what.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, it’s both weird and wonderful that Disney was open to producing another remake of the fairytale with the master of classic Japanese animation. Hayao Miyazaki never ceases to take my breath away. He breathes life into every detail. His works possess a holistic perspective of the world and its inhabitants, be it animal, human or spirit. His stories are told with disarming sincerity.

Ponyo upset the balance of nature the moment she loved this little boy who lived on the cliff by the sea. At first, I thought it was supposed to be a kind of suspension of disbelief that the fish had a human face because when Sosuke showed Ponyo to his mother, she only told him that she’s pretty. But one of the old ladies was shocked to see that it has such a face and said that "Fishes with faces bring tsunamis," and so I realize that the story intended her to be magical. By tasting human blood and eating human food, magical creatures become partly human. One cannot be magic and human at the same time. The old lady was right: the moon pulled tides into roaring mountains; comets are drawn to the Earth. Destruction awaits the universe, which only a boy can undo. Indeed there is a way out, but not without dire consequences. Fujimoto and Gran Mamare (Ponyo’s parents) have to test the boy’s love. If genuine, Ponyo will be human. If not, she will turn into sea foam. Surprisingly, Gran Mamare (who is like the goddess of the sea) didn’t mind if her daughter does become sea foam, where we all originated. She will become one with the sea.

There is a backstory to this film that is left to the viewer’s imagination. The romance between Gran Mamare and Fujimoto, who, stated in the script, was once human. In another story, he might have been a sailor who fell in love with the sea.

Gake no ue no Ponyo is the 3oth film that Studio Ghibli has produced. The power of animation is in the creation of a universe entirely its own. It transforms human values like kindness, courage, trust, love, and elevates it. It is no longer just human, nor does it know physical bounds. Miyazaki weaves an intimate connection using hand-drawn animation and his trademark storytelling about humanity being a cog in the universe. A cog that is capable of destruction and redemption. At the core of his worlds, there exists a magic beyond time, which connects the human cog with everything else in the universe. Miyazaki shows us the way, this time into how a great love can happen even to a five-year-old boy and a fish.

Sources: Disney, IMDb

(Read more on Ponyo after the jump.)


By mumblingmaya

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea is Hayao Miyazaki's and Studio Ghibli's latest animation feature film.

As usual, the art is amazing. If I quoted Rainn Wilson's twitter on what he thought of Hayao Miyazaki's works when he watched them for the first time recently, would that be illegal? Nonetheless, Rainn Wilson thought it was really really really good. O yeah, reprezentin' Asia was what I thought.

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea is about a little mermaid girl who falls in love with a 5- year old human boy. However, this causes marine life to go out of balance and summon a great flood that sinks a third of their island community.

The great art work in Ponyo and its well-placed references to environmental issues are but part of a list of things that make a signature Miyazaki. Other things in that list include:
  1. Tunnels - for transformation
  2. A young human falling in love with a magical being
  3. Tests of skill, bravery and love
On the technical aspect of story-telling though, Ponyo's plot is simplistic but confusing sometimes. As another blogger friend mentioned, it feels like it's being told by a 5-year old and you don't know if that's intentional.

The music, also, reminds me of Phantom of the Opera.

All in all, Ponyo gets a 7/10.

On a side note, there's a restaurant in Philadelphia called The Couch Tomato Café.


Where did you watch this? DVD?


tina said...

mas pambata yung kwento kaysa dun sa my neighbor totoro? o.O

@tina: 'Yun ba 'yung may malaking monster? Na cute?

Premium Blogspot Templates
Copyright © 2012 Da Couch Tomato